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[D&D 5E] Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

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Posts

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    Yep!

    Doing it at all was a huge undertaking, given that D&D had never really done it before - 3.XE made some strides in that direction, but 4E's was much more comprehensive.

    By the end, though, after a couple of revisions, they were in a good place.

    JustTee
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    Yep!

    Doing it at all was a huge undertaking, given that D&D had never really done it before - 3.XE made some strides in that direction, but 4E's was much more comprehensive.

    By the end, though, after a couple of revisions, they were in a good place.

    I remember when they got to the point where 4E monster math could fit on a business card. That was kind of the golden age of 4E but also, unfortunately, the beginning of the end.

    Elvenshaewebguy20ToxDarkPrimusJustTee
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
    ElvenshaeXagarRhesus PositiveToxDarkPrimusJustTeeTerrendosKwoaru
  • A Half Eaten OreoA Half Eaten Oreo Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    For me it's more of a missed opportunity. I think the RPG world would be in a better place today if 4e had released with fixed math. It wasn't some weird corner cases that were broken, some key pieces had to be fixed. I feel WotC had no excuse for that. It's something that adding people with the right skills, or giving the team more time should've fixed.

    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    Because it made a ton of content useless.

    Like late stage 4e made the MM1 a waste of money because the monster entries, for the most part, no longer matched the system's mathematical expectations, you could still use the entries but they were so volatile they didn't properly fit into the encounter building guidelines anymore.

    It's why they flattened the math for 5e because the wild scaling of 4 opened them up to so many ways to fuck it up at a base level.

    As well you can't say the system worked better because they got the math tight first when they verifiably got the math tight after the fact.

    Ivellius
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Sleep wrote: »
    However monsters were designed thus that if a monster was +/-5 levels from the party you basically couldn't use it without altering the monster basically from the ground up. The math literally didn't support it.

    The 4e CR system seemingly worked better because you couldn't fight monsters outside a specific level range as compared to party level.

    Yes, this was a specific goal.

    If you want to fight Orcs at 11th level, then use an 11th-level Orc enemy.

    If you want them to die in droves but still be threatening, then use an 11th-level Orc minion enemy.

    If you want them to die in droves and pose no threat, then treat them as difficult terrain.

    Etc.

    EDIT: And they "flattened the math" in 5E because they didn't want 11th-level Orc enemies to be a thing anymore; they wanted 1st-level Orc enemies to be relevant badguys at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th level.

    I think that doesn't work very well.

    Elvenshae on
    RiemannLivesJustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    I would not want them to change how monsters work in 5e to accommodate a more videogamey challenge rating system, I'd rather they just put out good encounter building guidelines

    There are any number of good sources online that talk about how to build a good encounter so it shouldn't be difficult for WOTC so I'm not sure why they haven't done it

    override367 on
    SleepNarbus
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    The problem wasn't that they fixed them, but that they were wrong in the first place and (as sleep said) invalidated older books. IMO 4e was a golden age for dungeon mastering that hasn't seen an equal, and a lot of the problems it had (CR1 enemies can't hurt level 8+ parties) were shared by 3.5. The only real problem with the 4e system is that you had to have an orc for every three or so levels, multiplied by the number of roles. So that's if there's a controller/soldier/brute/minion/whatever orc for every three levels, that's around 50 stat blocks that have to be printed, and I have to go through. The monster builder tool was killer though, and rebuilding monsters was a breeze. You could also just reflavor an elf or ghost or whatever into a monster of the appropriate race, level, and role.

    That reminds me of how easy 13th age is to DM. It's almost like they were made by the same people!

    Elvenshaewebguy20DarkPrimus
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I think the best thing 4e brought to the table for encounter design was the concept of monster combat roles.

    Not necessarily the exact implementation of it in monster design, but the conceptual layer of it as it affects combat and what x,y, and z creature are going to do with their time in combat.

    Like I stil try to consider my monsters in the frame of roles. Not necessarily Brute, Soldier, Artillery, Skirmisher, Lurker, Controller, or leader, but something close.

    However its less baked into the exact monster design and more dependent on how I will leverage the specific creature for a fight, even if a monster is going to fulfill multiple roles.

    DarkPrimus
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    I would not want them to change how monsters work in 5e to accommodate a more videogamey challenge rating system, I'd rather they just put out good encounter building guidelines

    There are any number of good sources online that talk about how to build a good encounter so it shouldn't be difficult for WOTC so I'm not sure why they haven't done it

    CR doesn't work because the math doesn't work, because the math isn't tightly controlled. It's more controlled than 3e (oh no, seventeen balors attacked me? good thing I have a contingency->planeshift set up!), but much less so than 4e. To many people that's a plus, but it puts more work on the DM. Things like bound accuracy (AC, saves, and hit modifiers being tightly controlled) is a huge step up, but it's a long way from what 4e offered; you could literally make a dungeon from completely randomized monsters within the math and guidelines of the game, and have them be balanced 95% of the time.

    For 5e, don't have more monsters than players unless the monsters are 3CR lower than the average party level. Having four CR 6 monsters against four level 8 players will generally favor the monsters, but if the players get a good alpha strike off (GWM+PAM+Smite, failing AoE control spell saves, multiple sharpshooters, etc) then it'll be a breeze. At low levels you have to contest a lot of multiclass/variant human outliers and the fact that wizards can drop to two good attacks. At higher levels, multiple player spellcasters can pretty much obliterate/CC enemies with no repercussions. You also have to make sure there is a time crunch for the players, or they'll just long rest after every encounter. If you have a warlock or people with lots of short rest powers, they can get demolished if they don't get said short rest between fights.

    It's always a trade-off between precise engineering that falls apart if you get too many +1s somewhere, or high tolerance stuff that can do anything, but requires constant monitoring.

    JustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Having a good role for monsters would be great as well

    It's a shame WOTC has taken a "no backsies" rule on published material, they wouldn't even need to alter anything that's written to publish a new monster manual that had roles or expected combat behavior listed for enemies (does it prefer ranged? is it a coward? does it attack in groups or is it a pile of individuals?), or how *lethal* they actually are if they win, or how likely they are to run away

    stuff like that is really helpful to know

    override367 on
    DarkPrimusJustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    I would not want them to change how monsters work in 5e to accommodate a more videogamey challenge rating system, I'd rather they just put out good encounter building guidelines

    There are any number of good sources online that talk about how to build a good encounter so it shouldn't be difficult for WOTC so I'm not sure why they haven't done it

    CR doesn't work because the math doesn't work, because the math isn't tightly controlled. It's more controlled than 3e (oh no, seventeen balors attacked me? good thing I have a contingency->planeshift set up!), but much less so than 4e. To many people that's a plus, but it puts more work on the DM. Things like bound accuracy (AC, saves, and hit modifiers being tightly controlled) is a huge step up, but it's a long way from what 4e offered; you could literally make a dungeon from completely randomized monsters within the math and guidelines of the game, and have them be balanced 95% of the time.

    For 5e, don't have more monsters than players unless the monsters are 3CR lower than the average party level. Having four CR 6 monsters against four level 8 players will generally favor the monsters, but if the players get a good alpha strike off (GWM+PAM+Smite, failing AoE control spell saves, multiple sharpshooters, etc) then it'll be a breeze. At low levels you have to contest a lot of multiclass/variant human outliers and the fact that wizards can drop to two good attacks. At higher levels, multiple player spellcasters can pretty much obliterate/CC enemies with no repercussions. You also have to make sure there is a time crunch for the players, or they'll just long rest after every encounter. If you have a warlock or people with lots of short rest powers, they can get demolished if they don't get said short rest between fights.

    It's always a trade-off between precise engineering that falls apart if you get too many +1s somewhere, or high tolerance stuff that can do anything, but requires constant monitoring.

    there's too many incomparable features on monsters to have the "math" work, it's bounded accuracy, the Banshee is low CR but a level 20 wizard could just keel over upon seeing one, a Beholder is high CR but if its facing a party of level 6 paladins within horse charge range of it, it is boned, you'd have to completely ground-up rework 5th edition and a lot of assumptions it has to make everything a question of mathematical difficulty

    for those reasons I think what we need more than a singular difficulty number is guidelines about how to use the individual beasties, given how utterly vulnerable some are in some circumstances, and how godly they are in others (compare a Rakshasa against a party of bards, sorcerers, and wizards vs a party of fighters, rogues, and paladins)

    override367 on
    SleepIvellius
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    I would not want them to change how monsters work in 5e to accommodate a more videogamey challenge rating system, I'd rather they just put out good encounter building guidelines

    There are any number of good sources online that talk about how to build a good encounter so it shouldn't be difficult for WOTC so I'm not sure why they haven't done it

    CR doesn't work because the math doesn't work, because the math isn't tightly controlled. It's more controlled than 3e (oh no, seventeen balors attacked me? good thing I have a contingency->planeshift set up!), but much less so than 4e. To many people that's a plus, but it puts more work on the DM. Things like bound accuracy (AC, saves, and hit modifiers being tightly controlled) is a huge step up, but it's a long way from what 4e offered; you could literally make a dungeon from completely randomized monsters within the math and guidelines of the game, and have them be balanced 95% of the time.

    For 5e, don't have more monsters than players unless the monsters are 3CR lower than the average party level. Having four CR 6 monsters against four level 8 players will generally favor the monsters, but if the players get a good alpha strike off (GWM+PAM+Smite, failing AoE control spell saves, multiple sharpshooters, etc) then it'll be a breeze. At low levels you have to contest a lot of multiclass/variant human outliers and the fact that wizards can drop to two good attacks. At higher levels, multiple player spellcasters can pretty much obliterate/CC enemies with no repercussions. You also have to make sure there is a time crunch for the players, or they'll just long rest after every encounter. If you have a warlock or people with lots of short rest powers, they can get demolished if they don't get said short rest between fights.

    It's always a trade-off between precise engineering that falls apart if you get too many +1s somewhere, or high tolerance stuff that can do anything, but requires constant monitoring.

    there's too many incomparable features on monsters to have the "math" work, it's bounded accuracy, the Banshee is low CR but a level 20 wizard could just out and keel over upon seeing one, a Beholder is high CR but if its facing a party of level 6 paladins within horse charge range of it, it is absolutely fucked, you'd have to completely ground-up rework 5th edition and a lot of assumptions it has to make everything a question of mathematical difficulty

    for those reasons I think what we need more than a singular difficulty number as a guideline about how to use the individual beasties, given how utterly vulnerable some are in some circumstances, and how godly they are in others (compare a Rakshasa against a party of bards, sorcerers, and wizards vs a party of fighters, rogues, and paladins)

    Archer's in melee as opposed to archers on a wall.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    Because it made a ton of content useless.

    Like late stage 4e made the MM1 a waste of money because the monster entries, for the most part, no longer matched the system's mathematical expectations, you could still use the entries but they were so volatile they didn't properly fit into the encounter building guidelines anymore.

    It's why they flattened the math for 5e because the wild scaling of 4 opened them up to so many ways to fuck it up at a base level.

    As well you can't say the system worked better because they got the math tight first when they verifiably got the math tight after the fact.

    Well that's a gross mischaracterization. The MM1 monsters were out of date because they sucked. In pretty much all cases the new math made them more dangerous by increasing damage. At the same time they made them take less time to fight by reducing NADs for Elites and making Brutes less pointless by repairing their to hits.

    Which, sure, MM1 was less valuable because you had to do some math. That math was not complicated. The math fits on a business card:
    5ifvacwetz73.png

    Now MM1 monsters still sucked a little bit because they were 1.0 monsters. Encounter powers of monsters are more interesting and varied as you get into the later books but the MM1 stuff still works and isn't broken. I wouldn't tell somebody to buy the MM1 first but I would also not tell them it is completely worthless.

    The 5e math fix was because they wanted to flatten out the fact that 1st level orcs were zero threat to a 5th level party because of the roughly +1 to AC/level you average out at. 4e absolutely requires the monsters you face to be near your level for the math to work. You can easily adjust them a few levels with the above card though if you go too far the changes of tier are going to be an issue with encounter powers and such.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
    Elvenshae
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    in lost mines of phandelver the party got routed by goblins I had manning a fort holding the local priestess Sister Garale prisoner. These are experienced 5e players playing Intro Adventure, so I gave them a challenge.

    Every round the goblins would bonus action hide, creep around behind the fort wall, and pop up over a 3/4 quarter cover opening and fire an arrow before seeking full cover so they could hide again the following round

    6 regular ass goblins effectively held off a party who earlier had driven a young dragon away. They had the shadow monk come back by himself and sneak into the fort and open the gate and they charged in on horses not giving the goblins more than a round to respond

    override367 on
    IvelliusSmrtnik
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    A person that was brand new to D&D (second session ever, the boyfriend of one of our regulars) should have been killed outright last night. He failed a pair of relatively easy saves and our DM generously didn't bother rolling the damage initially, since he was low enough to where rolling a 1 on every die would have knocked him out, just passing over that and declaring him unconscious.

    Another of our players accuses the DM of being unfair by not rolling the dice, thinking he could have maybe not been KO'd, so he rolls and gets like all 7s and 8s, for a total well over the PCs max HP, which should be instant death.

    Our DM fudged it and allowed him to live. Obviously, everyone is thrilled. I secretly feel he should be dead as all shit, though obviously there are excellent reasons for not killing a new player quite like that.

    Kasyn on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    I have to do a lot of bookkeeping with my party and their guides, all of them have been turned into yuan-ti purebloods. Based on the table I was using, there was a small chance to end up as Malisans (snek bottom instead of legs) and the druid and warlock both hit that mark, and are slithering around quite unconcerned. I told them they could turn into snakes if they wanted but it's pretty useless, so they all turned into snakes and slithered around

    Ras Nsi was expecting them to take a little bit more concern in their circumstance but shrugged and is helping them on their way to go defeat Acererak (and also secretly to kill his #2, who is nuttier than a fruitcake)

    Each party member gained a permanent form of madness, which I'm still sussing out as I don't just want to use the ones from the DMG, I got until Sunday to figure it out

    override367 on
    joshgotroElvenshaewebguy20KasynDarkPrimusSmrtnik
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Kasyn wrote: »
    A person that was brand new to D&D (second session ever, the boyfriend of one of our regulars) should have been killed outright last night. He failed a pair of relatively easy saves and our DM generously didn't bother rolling the damage initially, since he was low enough to where rolling a 1 on every die would have knocked him out, just passing over that and declaring him unconscious.

    Another of our players accuses the DM of being unfair by not rolling the dice, thinking he could have maybe not been KO'd, so he rolls and gets like all 7s and 8s, for a total well over the PCs max HP, which should be instant death.

    Our DM fudged it and allowed him to live. Obviously, everyone is thrilled. I secretly feel he should be dead as all shit, though obviously there are excellent reasons for not killing a new player quite like that.

    Depends on the game you're playing.

    Functionally making new characters takes time. Characters dying slows the game down and takes people out of the game as they make new characters. Its very sub-optimal as a convention for a story focused game

    If you're playing something else where death is more expected and you aren't attached to your characters then its less of an issue

    wbBv3fj.png
    ElvenshaeNyht
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Kasyn wrote: »
    A person that was brand new to D&D (second session ever, the boyfriend of one of our regulars) should have been killed outright last night. He failed a pair of relatively easy saves and our DM generously didn't bother rolling the damage initially, since he was low enough to where rolling a 1 on every die would have knocked him out, just passing over that and declaring him unconscious.

    Another of our players accuses the DM of being unfair by not rolling the dice, thinking he could have maybe not been KO'd, so he rolls and gets like all 7s and 8s, for a total well over the PCs max HP, which should be instant death.

    Our DM fudged it and allowed him to live. Obviously, everyone is thrilled. I secretly feel he should be dead as all shit, though obviously there are excellent reasons for not killing a new player quite like that.

    Depends on the game you're playing.
    Functionally making new characters takes time. Characters dying slows the game down and takes people out of the game as they make new characters. Its very sub-optimal as a convention for a story focused game
    If you're playing something else where death is more expected and you aren't attached to your characters then its less of an issue

    Yeah, but if you're playing an especially death prone game, then you should probably come prepared with a couple extra characters already filled out for the inevitable fatalities.

    I think when you're talking about a new player to the game, fudging the rolls so they don't have to reroll is probably the best way to go. For them, re-rolling means you're not taking just one character out of the game, but whoever is walking them through the character generation process so you can get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Plus the table talk about how to build the new character is going to further derail the game as the people who are still playing may want to toss in their two copper.
    if it's an experienced player, then yeah, you're dead. Go sit quietly and build a new character well see you back in the game in 15-30 minutes. The rest of the players? You're down a party member because we didn't keep Death Wish Daryl alive, now, back to the dungeon, we'll figure out how to integrate the new guy when they're done.

    SleepElvenshae
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Kasyn wrote: »
    A person that was brand new to D&D (second session ever, the boyfriend of one of our regulars) should have been killed outright last night. He failed a pair of relatively easy saves and our DM generously didn't bother rolling the damage initially, since he was low enough to where rolling a 1 on every die would have knocked him out, just passing over that and declaring him unconscious.

    Another of our players accuses the DM of being unfair by not rolling the dice, thinking he could have maybe not been KO'd, so he rolls and gets like all 7s and 8s, for a total well over the PCs max HP, which should be instant death.

    Our DM fudged it and allowed him to live. Obviously, everyone is thrilled. I secretly feel he should be dead as all shit, though obviously there are excellent reasons for not killing a new player quite like that.

    Depends on the game you're playing.

    Functionally making new characters takes time. Characters dying slows the game down and takes people out of the game as they make new characters. Its very sub-optimal as a convention for a story focused game

    If you're playing something else where death is more expected and you aren't attached to your characters then its less of an issue

    I fully agree with the DM's decision here, and even if I didn't it's an extremely defensible and reasonable choice. The weird little masochist/purist in me just demands blood, though, since this fella was just strictly dead under a clear reading of explicit rules.

    Kasyn on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    yeah as I said I don't even do "instant death" before level 4, characters have too little health and it ties your hands for combat options, your wizard might have 10 hitpoints at level 2

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    yeah as I said I don't even do "instant death" before level 4, characters have too little health and it ties your hands for combat options, your wizard might have 10 hitpoints at level 2

    Ooooh ... Lookit Mr. High-roller over here. :P

    override367Frywebguy20SmrtnikNyhtJustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I remember rolling a wizard in baldur's gate when I played it and walking fresh faced and wide eyed into my first D&D adjacent experience


    and being killed in one hit by a 2 foot tall gibberling

    ElvenshaeSteelhawkSmrtnikKasynMoridin889never die
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    the whole course is great, but I think this lecture in particular is very useful to anyone running a game that is based on a medieval European setting.

    the medieval mindset is, I think, important to a lot of the tropes of such settings and is drastically different from our own. Or even that of classical times (which is much more understandable to us even when it is different).


    Gregory of Tour. Here we enter further into a stranger world. As I told you at the outset of the course: it begins fairly reasonably - as if it's another history course - with great powers, states, recognizable theories of government and practices of government. Now we are into what certainly seems like a combination of Thugs and Miracles. And I hope that you'll see, if you haven't seen already, that - far from being contradictory - Thugs and Miracles go together.

    Especially because even in D&D games that are less directly based on medieval Europe nearly all of them are in a setting littered with the remains of dead empires (who else is building all these tombs and dungeons that are being looted?).

    but some general ideas to think about that are mentioned in the course: the need for plunder by early medieval kings as their economy could not support actually paying for a military. The difference between Treasure and Economy*. the massive decline of population and replacement of all secular government or administration with clergy. Most importantly the devolution of authority to more and more local levels until the highest authority anyone is likely to know is an local armed landowner.

    * I understand why we do it, but in a lot of ways the fact that we make all money fungible makes the game far more modern than it should be (see the discussion a while back about why bother making gold coins etc...). One of the hallmarks of the end of antiquity is that coins become art objects. People wear them as necklaces or keep them around as convenient stores of metal not as fungible Currency. If you manage to haul 10,000 copper pieces back out of the dungeon would anyone even want them? Could they be converted into other forms of wealth with any ease? Minting and circulating coinage is expensive, difficult and requires a reasonably sophisticated administration. If you look at a map of the Sword Coast (to take an odious example) it's unlikely anyone more than 100 miles from waterdeep should even be familiar with the notion of currency (as opposed to using a mishmash of old coins and other valuable objects as for barter).

    Attacked by tweeeeeeees!
    SleepKasyn
  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'm hesitant to bring it up, but 4E had a really solid encounter building system. It was a great shame that they scrapped it in 5E in favor of a system more similar to (but not as terrible as) the 3.X system.

    And the reason that 4E's worked as well as it did is that the designers basically sat down and worked out all the math. A tanky enemy at Level X should have defenses of A, B, C, and D (+/- some variation) and HP of D (+/- a bit). A squishy-but-dangerous enemy should be AA, BB, CC, and DD, etc. Tanky enemies should have abilities that work like [foo], and damaging enemies should have abilities that work like [bar].

    Therefore, you know that you can drop X monsters of Level X into a combat and have something relatively balanced more-or-less off the bat.

    But for that to work, you need those numbers to be relatively tight to start with.

    They literally had to rewrite that math multiple times

    I am still baffled that a game fixing the math errors is used as a negative.

    Because it made a ton of content useless.

    Like late stage 4e made the MM1 a waste of money because the monster entries, for the most part, no longer matched the system's mathematical expectations, you could still use the entries but they were so volatile they didn't properly fit into the encounter building guidelines anymore.

    It's why they flattened the math for 5e because the wild scaling of 4 opened them up to so many ways to fuck it up at a base level.

    As well you can't say the system worked better because they got the math tight first when they verifiably got the math tight after the fact.

    Bolded is a false premise, the MM1 monster entries never actually did match the system's mathematical expectations.

    This why they fixed monster math, because the original content was bad, and they felt bad.

    You can say, "Hey out of the box they fucked up the math" and you'd be right! It was useable, but not really great. 100% true.

    But they addressed it pretty quick and fixed it relatively fast.

    Elvenshae
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    in lost mines of phandelver the party got routed by goblins I had manning a fort holding the local priestess Sister Garale prisoner. These are experienced 5e players playing Intro Adventure, so I gave them a challenge.

    Every round the goblins would bonus action hide, creep around behind the fort wall, and pop up over a 3/4 quarter cover opening and fire an arrow before seeking full cover so they could hide again the following round

    6 regular ass goblins effectively held off a party who earlier had driven a young dragon away. They had the shadow monk come back by himself and sneak into the fort and open the gate and they charged in on horses not giving the goblins more than a round to respond

    I enjoy this for a couple of reasons.

    I like that even though they are repelling dragon attacks they have to take care with 6 goblins that have a massive strategic advantage.

    It's also a super fun example to break down

    Assuming you've got more than 2 players and less than 6 that pack of goblins is 600xp.

    Then you gave them 2 defensive bonuses and possibly an offensive one. They were effectively always behind cover so they could only be attacked on their turn, and they had +5 AC when they were attacked. As well if they were hiding between each shot they were likely getting advantage on every shot. That's three difficulty bumps right there. Even if the normal math places this combat as an easy encounter for your party... it's possibly a deadly encounter.

    The funny thing is that you can kinda track some of those changes in monster building.

    On the tables for monster creation the goblin fairly well follows the rules, it's offensive CR is 1/4, and thanks to its AC it's defensive CR is also 1/4. Normally given a goblin's 7hp it would be defensive cr 1/8, but because goblin ac is 2 higher than the normal suggestion for cr 1/8 the defensive CR gets bumped up to 1/4. So the goblin ends up at average CR 1/4.

    What you effectively did is give it +5 AC bringing is total to a whopping 20 AC. Even with its pittance HP starting it at CR 1/8 that +7 to AC over the CR 1/8 suggested AC still puts its defensive CR to 1

    On the offensive side you gave them advantage which doesn't map terribly well to an exact accuracy bump but i'm comfortable calling it a general +3. sometimes the bonus will go a little higher than that sometimes a little lower for the actual effective bonus (it depends on the target number they aiming for so if all your players have the same AC we could adjust the calc here). If we generalize on a +3 we can give the offensive CR 2 bumps putting it at an offensive CR of 1....

    so you effectively have a 6 pack of CR 1 monsters right there. That's 1200xp raw, 2400xp because there's 6 enemies. That's an easy encounter for a 4 rack of 10th level characters... except you can still only attack them on their turn with reactions... so about median difficulty for a 10th level party between medium and hard for a 9th level party. Hard to deadly from 6th to 9th level, and outright deadly for anything 5th or lower.

    Luckily 600xp for the monster group+3 difficulty bumps already tells you that the monster group will be deadly for a 4th level party.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    in lost mines of phandelver the party got routed by goblins I had manning a fort holding the local priestess Sister Garale prisoner. These are experienced 5e players playing Intro Adventure, so I gave them a challenge.

    Every round the goblins would bonus action hide, creep around behind the fort wall, and pop up over a 3/4 quarter cover opening and fire an arrow before seeking full cover so they could hide again the following round

    6 regular ass goblins effectively held off a party who earlier had driven a young dragon away. They had the shadow monk come back by himself and sneak into the fort and open the gate and they charged in on horses not giving the goblins more than a round to respond

    I enjoy this for a couple of reasons.

    I like that even though they are repelling dragon attacks they have to take care with 6 goblins that have a massive strategic advantage.

    It's also a super fun example to break down

    Assuming you've got more than 2 players and less than 6 that pack of goblins is 600xp.

    Then you gave them 2 defensive bonuses and possibly an offensive one. They were effectively always behind cover so they could only be attacked on their turn, and they had +5 AC when they were attacked. As well if they were hiding between each shot they were likely getting advantage on every shot. That's three difficulty bumps right there. Even if the normal math places this combat as an easy encounter for your party... it's possibly a deadly encounter.

    The funny thing is that you can kinda track some of those changes in monster building.

    On the tables for monster creation the goblin fairly well follows the rules, it's offensive CR is 1/4, and thanks to its AC it's defensive CR is also 1/4. Normally given a goblin's 7hp it would be defensive cr 1/8, but because goblin ac is 2 higher than the normal suggestion for cr 1/8 the defensive CR gets bumped up to 1/4. So the goblin ends up at average CR 1/4.

    What you effectively did is give it +5 AC bringing is total to a whopping 20 AC. Even with its pittance HP starting it at CR 1/8 that +7 to AC over the CR 1/8 suggested AC still puts its defensive CR to 1

    On the offensive side you gave them advantage which doesn't map terribly well to an exact accuracy bump but i'm comfortable calling it a general +3. sometimes the bonus will go a little higher than that sometimes a little lower for the actual effective bonus (it depends on the target number they aiming for so if all your players have the same AC we could adjust the calc here). If we generalize on a +3 we can give the offensive CR 2 bumps putting it at an offensive CR of 1....

    so you effectively have a 6 pack of CR 1 monsters right there. That's 1200xp raw, 2400xp because there's 6 enemies. That's an easy encounter for a 4 rack of 10th level characters... except you can still only attack them on their turn with reactions... so about median difficulty for a 10th level party between medium and hard for a 9th level party. Hard to deadly from 6th to 9th level, and outright deadly for anything 5th or lower.

    Luckily 600xp for the monster group+3 difficulty bumps already tells you that the monster group will be deadly for a 4th level party.

    And yet, trivial for a fifth level party, because one fireball ends the encounter

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    in lost mines of phandelver the party got routed by goblins I had manning a fort holding the local priestess Sister Garale prisoner. These are experienced 5e players playing Intro Adventure, so I gave them a challenge.

    Every round the goblins would bonus action hide, creep around behind the fort wall, and pop up over a 3/4 quarter cover opening and fire an arrow before seeking full cover so they could hide again the following round

    6 regular ass goblins effectively held off a party who earlier had driven a young dragon away. They had the shadow monk come back by himself and sneak into the fort and open the gate and they charged in on horses not giving the goblins more than a round to respond

    I enjoy this for a couple of reasons.

    I like that even though they are repelling dragon attacks they have to take care with 6 goblins that have a massive strategic advantage.

    It's also a super fun example to break down

    Assuming you've got more than 2 players and less than 6 that pack of goblins is 600xp.

    Then you gave them 2 defensive bonuses and possibly an offensive one. They were effectively always behind cover so they could only be attacked on their turn, and they had +5 AC when they were attacked. As well if they were hiding between each shot they were likely getting advantage on every shot. That's three difficulty bumps right there. Even if the normal math places this combat as an easy encounter for your party... it's possibly a deadly encounter.

    The funny thing is that you can kinda track some of those changes in monster building.

    On the tables for monster creation the goblin fairly well follows the rules, it's offensive CR is 1/4, and thanks to its AC it's defensive CR is also 1/4. Normally given a goblin's 7hp it would be defensive cr 1/8, but because goblin ac is 2 higher than the normal suggestion for cr 1/8 the defensive CR gets bumped up to 1/4. So the goblin ends up at average CR 1/4.

    What you effectively did is give it +5 AC bringing is total to a whopping 20 AC. Even with its pittance HP starting it at CR 1/8 that +7 to AC over the CR 1/8 suggested AC still puts its defensive CR to 1

    On the offensive side you gave them advantage which doesn't map terribly well to an exact accuracy bump but i'm comfortable calling it a general +3. sometimes the bonus will go a little higher than that sometimes a little lower for the actual effective bonus (it depends on the target number they aiming for so if all your players have the same AC we could adjust the calc here). If we generalize on a +3 we can give the offensive CR 2 bumps putting it at an offensive CR of 1....

    so you effectively have a 6 pack of CR 1 monsters right there. That's 1200xp raw, 2400xp because there's 6 enemies. That's an easy encounter for a 4 rack of 10th level characters... except you can still only attack them on their turn with reactions... so about median difficulty for a 10th level party between medium and hard for a 9th level party. Hard to deadly from 6th to 9th level, and outright deadly for anything 5th or lower.

    Luckily 600xp for the monster group+3 difficulty bumps already tells you that the monster group will be deadly for a 4th level party.

    And yet, trivial for a fifth level party, because one fireball ends the encounter

    Which is a very good play to make.

    It also pulls top end resources from the party to get past the obstacle.

    For 6 goblins.

    SmrtnikAldooverride367
  • SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    Twitch Streaming basically all week
    SniperGuyGaming on PSN / SniperGuy710 on Xbone Live
  • HellboreHellbore A bad, bad man Registered User regular
    I'm planning on running Sunless Citadel this weekend for my siblings. I've DM'd for them before, but this is the first real 'Session 2' and first dungeon since we've previously done one-shots, which mostly took place outdoors. Any tips on running it from people who have?

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    That player's character is "totally around" and "doing stuff" with the rest of the party, just completely without mechanical effect, and as soon as they get back, they just hop right back in. They share in whatever rewards / XP were earned.

    Otherwise, the group plays on.

    joshgotroSuper NamicchiToxSmrtnikKen OJustTee
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    That player's character is "totally around" and "doing stuff" with the rest of the party, just completely without mechanical effect, and as soon as they get back, they just hop right back in. They share in whatever rewards / XP were earned.

    Otherwise, the group plays on.

    The players that can make it deserve to play.

    I also have a ton of one shots just in case as well.

    does it?
    ElvenshaeSmrtnikSleepoverride367JustTee
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    So I have two players that can only manage every other week. So I literally run a different game when they are in town. This has resulted in three core plotlines. 2 with the out of towners 1 with my core players (the one with the core players is currently formatted for easy drop in drop out, royal merchant caravan guards is a fun adventuring flavor).

    I will sideline characters, often by making them badass off screen, if I can have it make sense for that to happen narratively within an existing plotline.

    If I can't make it work in any currently running plotline, I'll either use a currently hanging plotline or I lay a bunch of powerups on the party and we anime music video kill some demons and shit with either remaining player alts and/or new characters.

    Sleep on
  • Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Registered User regular
    my de facto rule is that character is either NPC’d by me in basic mode or they can entrust a proxy to pilot the character if i don’t have a place offstage for them to go

    either way that character has immunity to death while the player is not at the table

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited August 2018
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    You have the camera crew tighten the focus of the lens so that character is never seen on screen, but is still assumed to be there

    well, not there

    More...juuuuuuust over there

    Elvenshae wrote: »
    That player's character is "totally around" and "doing stuff" with the rest of the party, just completely without mechanical effect, and as soon as they get back, they just hop right back in. They share in whatever rewards / XP were earned.

    Otherwise, the group plays on.

    Basically this

    Tox on
    ElvenshaeLindJustTeeMoridin889
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    The character is present but functionally useless. I roleplay them as attacking but missing, looking for traps, etc... We are also in Barovia so there is a lot of "so and so was very traumatized by the events of last week that he/she is taking a moment to deal with the PTSD". I don't have that character take dmg unless it's a giant AOE that would affect the whole party and there is 0 chance to spread out. This has happened exactly once.
    That character gets no xp that session.
    The group shares all loot (their decision) so if something near dropped that would be good for that character they share.
    If 3+ people can't make it (out of 5 players) we cancel the session.

    Smrtnik on
    steam_sig.png
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    What do you guys do when a player can't make it to the game that week? Just postpone the game? Sideline their character and play anyway? I stream our games and want to keep it more consistent to help build viewership but we keep having to take weeks off at the last second because of real life stuff cropping up for my players.

    If the PCs have a home base/camp, the missing player's character is back there with a minor intestinal disorder. Not enough to give them penalties or keep them from defending themselves if needed, but bad enough that everyone agrees that person should sit out the day's adventure.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    We usually schedule again to find a date that works for everyone. So that way we have been playing LMoP for more than a year. Or rather, we played about 12 2-4hr sessions.

    It's maddening, but everyone at the table loves dnd and the long waits between sessions hardly ever dampen the excitement for the next session.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    If possible, talk to the player beforehand about some of the stuff that might occur that session so they can tell you how their character might reaction in those situations, so you can have them still interject something every so often despite the player not being there.

    usnTyq4.jpg
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
    SleepSuper Namicchi
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