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

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Posts

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    also
    anoffday wrote: »
    Hey guys, new to this side of the forum (pretty much exclusive to G&T) and wanting to get into tabletop gaming, and more specifically right now D&D. It's something that I've always been interested in and decided to, at least for now, start the process of learning the game. I downloaded the two pdf files from the official website. I'll print them off tomorrow at work since they're pretty huge, but I'm just wondering what else I should do or look into to get started? I have a friend who is interested as well so I figure we'll learn it together, but is it something that we could play by ourselves or should we get more people? Should we look for groups in person or is online a thing you guys do? Can anyone recommend any good resources? Are the two pdf files enough to get me started or should I purchase that 20 dollar starter pack?

    Pretty lost right now so any advice you guys can give me would be appreciated. Also, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask. I looked around, but didn't see any specific threads devoted to new people, questions, etc.

    @anoffday I find Matt Colville and Jim Murphey to be good sources of info for D&Ders new and old. Especially because they tend to focus on more "real world" games than the kind of stuff you see on Critical Role or Ac Inq (IE: anyone not playing with a table full of professional voice actors and super-extroverts).

    some examples:

    The recent "On Being A Good Player" vid:


    The first vid in the Intro-To-Dming series:


    The very valuable "different kinds of players" vid (especially the part about players who prefer to be more passive):


    Jim Murphy's channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMl19aDv5e_2l_AeJRXp2g/videos?disable_polymer=1

    KhildithElvenshaeSleepHexmage-PAJustTeeMostlyjoe13
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    matt colville real good

    sig.gif
    KhildithElvenshaewebguy20SleepHexmage-PAIvellius
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    I second Colville's Running the Game series!

    I started DMing a few months back after a couple false starts over the years and his series has helped a lot! I already was okay on mechanics, but he helped me feel a lot more comfortable about running things and I've got social anxiety like crazy so that is a big deal to me!

    I don't always agree with him on things but he always reiterates the point of "This is how I do it, not how everyone should do it." and I appreciate that.

    MalakaiusJustTeeArcanisTheImpotent
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Matt Mercer also has a GM tips series, oys pretty good.

    Something I've found handy is this
    https://bankuei.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/the-same-page-tool/

    It's a questionnaire with the goal of making sure everyone is working on the same set of expectations for the campaign.

    ElvenshaeDarkPrimusJustTee
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    The running the game series is great for people who only want to be players as well, as it gives a great look behind the screen and the work a good DM goes to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. I would recommend it to everyone who is serious about D&D and other similar games.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    speaking as someone that came back around to D&D because of Crit Role and Mercer specifically, it actually doesn’t take that much raw skill and talent to get to that level

    the only thing Mercer has on anyone here is that he is a professional voice actor, so he can leverage his skills in that arena. and if you're interested in getting there, there are tons of resources out there on how to play with voices, but there are some basic qualities you can modify to produce tons of characters with no training at all. accent, speaking pace, and pitch are three places to start, but you can also do some of your own research into oral posture and stuff like that. if you like to act, this is a good outlet, so go wild

    ANYWAY--

    if you watch Matt closely he employs some very basic techniques and abides by principles that are tried and true and every successful game runs upon their back

    1. Matthew Mercer watches, listens, and responds to his players

    there are huge chunks of episodes of Crit Role where Matt is just watching his players bounce off of each other. he folds his hands and lets them drive the wagon until they ask him a question, or he offers a clarification or a description because something has changed. this dovetails into...

    2. Trust. Matt trusts his players and his players trust him

    I think this one is an easier said than done sort of thing--it seems obvious when you point it out, but the reality of getting to trust is a longer, more difficult road and folks who have it in their gamespaces (including myself!) take it for granted. for me, this involved a 'hard' conversation with my players and an explicit promise that I wasn't out to dick them over or Dark Souls them. some GMs balk at this, saying it ruins immersion, but at the end of the day we're all playing a game, and sometimes we lose sight of the fact that games need to be fun first, and everything else is subservient to that end.

    3. Yes, and...

    this one can be viewed as an extension of point 2 but I think it deserves its own section. those of us familiar with improv technique know what Yes, and... is; it simply refers to, when improving a scene, don't stonewall your partner. listen to them, take what they're giving you, and move the ball forward and add to it. this doesn't mean suddenly everything goes, but when your characters want to do something outlandish, give them the opportunity. be up front, tell them there may be consequences if they don't roll it, but let them do it, and try not to make consequences too hobbling or you may condition your group to go for what they feel is "safe" (spelled out by the rules).

    4. Appeal to the senses

    this is something that I adore about Mercer. everywhere his group goes, he's always supplying sensory details to them, usually multiple at once, to bring the game to life. i find myself coming back to smells a lot because I've got a background in psychology, and as humans we associate a lot of memories with scents, and so you can get a lot of mileage out of that. followed closely by touch, sight, and then aural and taste. i don't get a lot of opportunity to use aural sense details, and I find describing sound can lean hard into telling vs showing (unless you can do neat sound effects, which I think are worth doing. mercer does a lot of this, just take notes)

    5. Think in terms of motivations and not plots

    at the end of the day, our games hinge on individual actors (agents, not actor the profession) doing things. our group, our NPCs, all of them collide with each other. it's good to come up with ideas for events, but you HAVE to remember that these events are set in motion by people, either as a side effect, or desired goal. as such, you're going to get TONS more mileage out of your game if you populate your setting with characters with motivations, rather than an event flowchart of conditions to meet. and this doesn't just pertain to your big movers and shakers, it also applies to the local baker, or even entire factions. if you take the time to do this you'll find figuring out what happens when things take an unexpected turn to be very easy. you simply ask, "given their goals/motivations, how would they respond?" and then they do that. it may feel messy because you wanted X to happen which led to Y which enabled Z... and then things went to A and now we're dealing with B and suddenly you're stumped as to what happens next.

    6. Let them draw their own conclusions

    this is something I struggle with. for me, I want to show off the clever intricacies, the moving parts... but part of the wonder is that those parts remain hidden until someone uncovers them. would a treasure map be exciting if the map told you exactly where the treasure was? nope. I'm not advocating for opacity, either, but if your characters all come to agreement that something must be true, don't correct them! you have the opportunity to do one of two things--either you adjust whatever was going on so that their supposition is true, and they feel EXTRA clever having figured it out all along, OR... you smile devilishly and make the big reveal and they go "oh FUCK" and all the pieces fall into place... or they're confused and you may have to do better next time or plant more obvious clues/details.

    7. The rules are to be followed... and also broken

    I may get flak for this, because a lot of folks believe adherence to the rules makes for the most immersive, fair experience, and I think that for the mostpart this is true--but it comes back to trust. I have referenced the handbook at the table once the entire time, and I'm 10 sessions deep. why? well, one, I know D20 games like the back of my hand and cut my teeth on 3.5, so 5e by comparison is paint by numbers, but secondly and more importantly, I have built my trust scaffolding properly, so they have no problem with on-the-fly rulings. if you get to this, DON'T YOU DARE ABUSE IT. and if a rule is easily found on the paper that contradicts your call, then you damn well better adjust your call unless you have a good reason, because your player is pointing it out because to them on some level it's important the rules get represented. if you respond with "because I say so" you're eroding that trust, so the outcome better be worth more than the Trust Dollars you just withdrew from the social account.

    8. consume and STEAL STEAL STEAL

    Steal everything from everywhere. see everything as a resource. you're not a writer, if you were you'd be writing a novel instead of playing D&D. why hold yourself to the standard of an author and come up with everything whole cloth? Look at the media you consume and take characters, take plot points, take everything that isn't nailed down, shave off the serial numbers, and import it into your game. you don't even need to hide it! why should you? because you're worried your players won't like it? the game is already yours and unique. even if you take a whole villain and drop him into your game, you're going to get emergent story just based on your group's reactions to that character. steal and steal shamelessly!

    that's all I can think of now, but if you start here, you have a foundation to become a great GM. the rest of it is experience, experimentation, and communication. if you want to become the next Matt Mercer, tell your group that's what you're aiming for. if you want to run a gritty, Dark Soulsian hexcrawl, tell your group that's what you're aiming for. if you're a player and want to grow your group into the next Vox Machina, tell them that's what you want. be aspirational, be hungry, and chase it and you'll get it, and when you do it'll be AWESOME.




    ArcanisTheImpotent on
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  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    i will absolutely give you flak for saying break the rules, but i completely agree it's a trust thing

    i have good friends that i absolutely wouldn't trust to give me a better experience via rule of cool than via strict adherence to the rules. it's just too tempting to go for things that are cool in the moment but rob the greater story of scale or weight. i try to think of it like vegas betting odds rather than use the word trust, but it's the same thing - "if actual money were at stake, would i bet that you'll take more from this than it takes from you?"

    sig.gif
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    yeah--it helps that I have 15 years of this behind me, and I started with D&D 3.5, and when it comes to games and mechanics I have the memory of a steel trap--I can even recite from memory the steps for grappling in 3.5

    it's far easier to break the rules in your design than it is in a ruling. when I break the rules, it's by adding things to a bad guy so they can do something exciting and sneaky, or to adjudicate something that isn't immediately obvious to me and I want to keep the pace going

    it's a touch and go thing, but with trust you can do anything!

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    What I think is also important to factor in as to how popular the "main" streams are is the ridiculously high level of player engagement Mercer and Holkins get.

    Mercer's players are in it, man. They totally trust Matt and the world he's built and they totally trust each other. But more importantly they are invested in his game. They give Matt and each other loads of stuff to work with. They bounce off each other, they improv, they work out their own stories and relationships and it mostly all unfolds before the audience. (eg: how moody Liam as Vax gets and how he makes sure the audience and other players know it, how on the surface surface silly but really super deep Sam as Scanlan gets when roleplaying...especially after they find his daughter.) That is grade A stuff on the players side. As fantastic as Mercer is at developing his world and gifting it to the players and us.... his players are equally as gifted at giving it back 110%.

    Holkins dives deep in the C-Team, too. And he also has fantastic players who give just as good as they get. In the beginning, I think they were all a little taken aback unsure of what was what due to Jerry's Jerry-ness (which I love, btw), but over a very short time they've dived in! Kate is an amazing DM's assistant, giving Jerry everything he's asking for regarding player engagment and often drawing in the other players too. Also, the C-Team show is fucking hilarious. Across the board serious, and ridiculous at the same time.

    I think a lot of that is the streaming aspect admittedly. They know they're being watched/listened to online by thousands and thousands of fans and that gives them far more motivation to bring their best game week after week after week. It's not a bunch of people in your basement with bags of chips and some ho-ho's. These guys are all pros, probably making some not insignificant amount of money by now, putting on a show - and it really shows.

    Steelhawk on
    LindArcanisTheImpotentAnialosJustTee
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    I trust my players to never find their way out of a brown paper bag or argue the merit of keeping goblins alive inside the brown paper bag.

    IvelliusMoridin889ElvenshaeFryRhesus PositiveJustTeeNips
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    unfortunate

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    unfortunate

    Not at all. I enjoy it.

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    ah, I read some level of melancholy in there, my mistake (ha)

    i'm often accused of disallowing fun at my table by outside observers because i tend toward a more serious style as my default

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    I would describe my usual group really close to Willow on the serious scale.

    Ken O
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    What I think is also important to factor in as to how popular the "main" streams are is the ridiculously high level of player engagement Mercer and Holkins get.

    Mercer's players are in it, man. They totally trust Matt and the world he's built and they totally trust each other. But more importantly they are invested in his game. They give Matt and each other loads of stuff to work with. They bounce off each other, they improv, they work out their own stories and relationships and it mostly all unfolds before the audience. (eg: how moody Liam as Vax gets and how he makes sure the audience and other players know it, how on the surface surface silly but really super deep Sam as Scanlan gets when roleplaying...especially after they find his daughter.) That is grade A stuff on the players side. As fantastic as Mercer is at developing his world and gifting it to the players and us.... his players are equally as gifted at giving it back 110%.

    Holkins dives deep in the C-Team, too. And he also has fantastic players who give just as good as they get. In the beginning, I think they were all a little taken aback unsure of what was what due to Jerry's Jerry-ness (which I love, btw), but over a very short time they've dived in! Kate is an amazing DM's assistant, giving Jerry everything he's asking for regarding player engagment and often drawing in the other players too. Also, the C-Team show is fucking hilarious. Across the board serious, and ridiculous at the same time.

    I think a lot of that is the streaming aspect admittedly. They know they're being watched/listened to online by thousands and thousands of fans and that gives them far more motivation to bring their best game week after week after week. It's not a bunch of people in your basement with bags of chips and some ho-ho's. These guys are all pros, probably making some not insignificant amount of money by now, putting on a show - and it really shows.

    man, this is so important. that's also why I'm really leaning hard into Mercer, because when it comes to engagement/social activities you should lead by example

    I think for my group it's been working too, people tend to feel fearless when others around them are fearless, so I'm just going all in and chewing up the scenery with melodrama as much as possible

  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    I would describe my usual group really close to Willow on the serious scale.

    My group sounds pretty close to that. With more fire...

    My weekly online and monthly in person games are mostly made up of people I've known since middle or high school and I'm 42 now. We have a few additions, but the group has mostly stayed the same. I'm thrilled by that trust has has been built upon for the 20-30+ years that I've been rolling dice with these people.

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    A house rule I just came up with the other day is that, when a character fails three death saves and would die, they can roll once more and stabilize on a natural 20. However, this represents an extraplanar entity sparing the PC's life in exchange for a service.

    I'll elaborate more later, but this happened to the party wizard, and now I'm considering giving him one warlock eldritch invocation to represent this pact, possibly one of these:
    ARMOR OF SHADOWS
    You can cast mage armor on yourself at will, without expending a spell slot or material components

    DEVIL'S SIGHT
    You can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet.

    GAZE OF Two MINDS
    You can use your action to touch a willing humanoid and perceive through its senses until the end of your next turn. As long as the creature is on the same plane of existence as you, you can use your action on subsequent turos to maintain this connection, extending the duration until the end of your next turno While perceiving through the other creature's senses, you benefit from any special senses possessed by that creature, and you are blinded and deafened to your own surroundings.

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    What I think is also important to factor in as to how popular the "main" streams are is the ridiculously high level of player engagement Mercer and Holkins get.

    Mercer's players are in it, man. They totally trust Matt and the world he's built and they totally trust each other. But more importantly they are invested in his game. They give Matt and each other loads of stuff to work with. They bounce off each other, they improv, they work out their own stories and relationships and it mostly all unfolds before the audience. (eg: how moody Liam as Vax gets and how he makes sure the audience and other players know it, how on the surface surface silly but really super deep Sam as Scanlan gets when roleplaying...especially after they find his daughter.) That is grade A stuff on the players side. As fantastic as Mercer is at developing his world and gifting it to the players and us.... his players are equally as gifted at giving it back 110%.

    Holkins dives deep in the C-Team, too. And he also has fantastic players who give just as good as they get. In the beginning, I think they were all a little taken aback unsure of what was what due to Jerry's Jerry-ness (which I love, btw), but over a very short time they've dived in! Kate is an amazing DM's assistant, giving Jerry everything he's asking for regarding player engagment and often drawing in the other players too. Also, the C-Team show is fucking hilarious. Across the board serious, and ridiculous at the same time.

    I think a lot of that is the streaming aspect admittedly. They know they're being watched/listened to online by thousands and thousands of fans and that gives them far more motivation to bring their best game week after week after week. It's not a bunch of people in your basement with bags of chips and some ho-ho's. These guys are all pros, probably making some not insignificant amount of money by now, putting on a show - and it really shows.

    man, this is so important. that's also why I'm really leaning hard into Mercer, because when it comes to engagement/social activities you should lead by example

    I think for my group it's been working too, people tend to feel fearless when others around them are fearless, so I'm just going all in and chewing up the scenery with melodrama as much as possible

    I would LOVE to get my group this involved. I've only recently jumped on this Critical Role and DCA bandwagon (being following AQI and the C-Team from the start) and its let me know how much I am missing from my IRL games. These guys are killing it!

    I'm not nearly this good either, and while my core group and I roleplay.... its not even close to this level. Sometime's we'll talk or email about our characters or plots in that kind of detail and depth, but almost never does that come out at the table. Its something I hope to change, buts its hard man, its hard.

    Steelhawk on
    ArcanisTheImpotentJustTee
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    I've modified a deck of many things for use in a TPK scenario and am bummed it'll probably never be used.

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  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I've modified a deck of many things for use in a TPK scenario and am bummed it'll probably never be used.
    That's a solvable problem. All you need to do is drop them to level 1 and then put them in a featureless demiplane facing off against a CR 2 dragon.

    Elvenshae
  • IvelliusIvellius Registered User regular
    To share with the thread as a whole, one thing I've recently started doing at the beginning of sessions is asking the players a question about their character. It can be something simple ("Ever been in love?") or complex ("What's your favorite memory of or story about [pirate captain]?"), but it seems to have really helped people engage with the world and their characters. I forget where I got the idea, but it wasn't unique to me. (I made a long list of questions and just cross things off when I ask them.)
    anoffday wrote: »
    Is playing online a good or bad place to start? Seems simple enough, but not as social.

    Depends on the atmosphere you're wanting. I pretty much only play online now, but it's with people I knew from "real life" before. It's certainly a different experience, but I think it's quite good.

    Me elsewhere:
    Steam, various fora: Ivellius
    League of Legends: Doctor Ivellius
    Twitch, probably another place or two I forget: LPIvellius
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I run a game at a comic store. I started out there as a player until the DM had family issues come up, and I was asked to take over.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Anyway, one thing I think I need to pay more attention to is what kind of monsters my players' characters are best suited to fighting. For example:

    The party wizard is focused on enchantment, meaning he has a lot of "de-rail the plot" spells and few blasting powers. I should probably use big groups of low HP creatures sparingly since he won't have that much firepower to dispose of them with, but include low AC, high HP, low Wis brutes that he could try to charm to help fight for a while.

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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    To clarify my personal stance on the rule of cool a bit, I'll use an example:

    The party is fighting some blighted zombies. The druid player has played some Final Fantasy in her day, and thinks "hey maybe healing magic will hurt them since they're undead" and asks if that will work. I ask for an Arcana check to give me some time to think about how I want to handle this, and decide that if she passes the check then yes, healing magic will do something to the undead. The other players are chiming in with things like "ooh that's a great idea I wonder if that works."

    She passes her check, and I say "you know that normally it doesn't work that way, but something about this blight makes you think that it might have an effect this time." She casts it, I have her make a spell attack, she hits, I have it do damage instead of healing, and describe how the zombie's eyes clear up as though the blight has been cleansed, and the zombie looks at her with a sense of relief as it dies. Everyone shared that look of "oh shit we figured it out!" and we went on with combat.

    After the session we're talking about what happened, and I mention that normally Cure Wounds (actually it might have been Healing Word, I don't remember) doesn't do anything at all to undead in 5E, but in this circumstance it sounded neat so we made it happen. It wasn't anything game-breaking, and it was very collaborative. The game would have gone on just fine without it, but it was an opportunity for a cool story moment and even a little bit of plot development. The rule of cool should always be a group thing, in my opinion. If the other players at the table aren't having fun because of it, then it isn't that cool.

    Denada on
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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    That's great, and maybe not so far off as that was indeed how it worked in 3.5e. ;)

    Healing spells (using positive/radiant energy) DID harm the undead (given unlife via negative/necrotic energy).

    Steelhawk on
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    For whatever reason I seem to have way more success doing Yes And, Rule of Cool, and other stuff like that with new players. It feels like as much as they don't know what they can do, they don't know what they can't do either. It's a real treat playing with people that haven't played D&D before.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    My players seemed upset to find one of the baddies ran away unbeknownst to them while they were looting the building. I wonder if it was the two shatters they cast and the thunderwave one of the baddies cast and the runner finding a bunch of corpses of her bretheren and all their summoned critters piled up in a heap in the big central room while the party was in the basement destroying the homeowner's (whom technically hired the party to get the baddies out of the house) property.

    Curse of Strahd location:
    wizard of wines. There goes the Gulthias staff...

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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    Does anyone use the spell cards they sell and have thoughts on them? I was struggling with birthday gifts for a friend last month and ended up sending them the arcane card box, mordenkainens book, and some dice bags we sell but it's unclear to me if anyone actually uses the cards or just gives them to people as gifts.

    But they seemed neat if not exactly critical, but I guess that's true of most rpg extras

    initiatefailure on
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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Does anyone use the spell cards they sell and have thoughts on them? I was struggling with birthday gifts for a friend last month and ended up sending them the arcane card box, mordenkainens book, and some dice bags we sell but it's unclear to me if anyone actually uses the cards or just gives them to people as gifts.

    But they seemed neat if not exactly critical, but I guess that's true of most rpg extras

    One of my players has a binder full of them.

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  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    my Players use the spell cards, as looking what spells do in the book, takes a lot more time. Just by merit of actually finding the spell.

    JustTeeNipswebguy20ArcanisTheImpotentBlake TNyht
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    My players use them too and really like them.

    Nipswebguy20ArcanisTheImpotentNyht
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    +1 to one of my players keeps buying all the sets because of the quality and ease of use.

    Nipswebguy20Nyht
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    My second weekend dork session of ToA starts tomorrow night as me and my buds all start rolling in at our venue. Hopefully the weather holds on the weekend and we can bust out hunks of meat and put them over the fire! I'm super excited and super nervous. Both for the meat and for the game!

    If you'll recall, we had some issues last time we played D&D with one player being a dick (he scratched out NG and wrote CN as his alignment on his character sheet, I assume right before his dick move, I saw yesterday as I was making sure I had all my notes ready) resulting in another, who wasn't excited to play D&D in the first place, dying. Also me having high expectations that were not met which left me in a bit of a snit after the session. Things have been discussed, a few new characters rolled up, and hopefully we'll have a much better session this time! Fingers crossed!

    Elvenshae
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    My weekly Curse of Strahd game was last night and ooof it was a rough one.

    Last session we reached the Amber temple, took out 3 Flaming Skulls, the barbarians, and an Amber golem.

    This session we fought the 3 remaining flame skulls, a poltergeist, and then walked down to the open chamber with the giant statue and the Arcanaloth.

    First our paladin was fooled by some kind of illusion and took a finger of death. Then we got smacked with chain lightning that dropped one the warlock and the paladin. He disappears into the inky blackness of the statues head. Our cleric spends two rounds throwing out big heals. Irena was hanging behind and warns us that something else is coming down the hall. On my bard's turn I Healing Word the warlock back above 0 (he dropped twice in this fight so far) and decided we're in over our heads and need to do something drastic. I hurl a four bead necklace of fireballs at the statues head. I don't know how much it hurt the Arcanaloth but there was a big explosion and some screaming. Our monk doing monk things starts climbing the statue to get up there. The halfling rogue decides to follow him. Just then Irena screams as some weird one eyed creatures come from around the corner.... And that's where the session ended for the night.

    Before all that happened though there was an event that really gut punched me though. To give more background detail my Bard started with a Instrument of Illusion and Cloak of Billowing, both minor magic items. Except for the Scroll of Greater Restoration they found (he will save the cat girl!), he hasn't cared about the magic items the group came across. The party pretty much gave him the fireball necklace because he hadn't called dibs on anything else. The earlier magic items just weren't cool to him. The Ivory drinking horn? Oh yeah. The giant goat skull to mount on his carriage, better believe it. I feel this attitude is important for what comes next.

    We're in a hall with a dead mage and have just defeated the hopefully last 3 Flameskulls. I'm standing right near the mage's body and someone says, "Dio, check out that staff." I do and I get a message from the DM. "You have a new personality trait, "I crave power above all else, and will do anything to obtain more of it." I double check with him, but there is no saving throw or anything. Another message tells me it will be there until we leave Ravenloft. So I have no idea if Remove Curse or Greater Restoration will help me and this point, it's too new. Hell maybe dropping to 0HP will do it like a ghost possession.

    Out of game I'm super stressed due various real life stuff like bills and fighting my home insurance company so this probably hit me way worse than it really is. But it seems like sucked the fun out of my super fun character. And holy crap I need something that is just fun right now. Sorry for the wall of text, I need to vent to someone that would understand it all this nonsense.

    Ken O on
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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    What's wrong with a getting a new trait like that. You are in Barovia, and it's a mood setter. And yes, it's from that item.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    What's wrong with a getting a new trait like that. You are in Barovia, and it's a mood setter. And yes, it's from that item.

    I generally avoid things that tell my players how to act without some kind of save involved.

    Like it's on brand for barovia for sure, but before I do it to a player I'm generally going to make sure the player is down for essentially being mind controlled for the whole game, and playing into it.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Yea, this is one thing where D&D really needs to look to other games.

    Blades in the Dark the bad things you gain are trauma which would normally be really shitty for players...except playing your trauma is a major source of XP. By tying an incentive to it and leaving it within the players control it totally changes the feel of it.

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  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    I should add, this isn't a "I'm taking my ball and going home thing." I'm just a little less enthused about my weekly sessions when before it was a highlight of my week. I get Barovia is dark. We've already come across lots of dark. This isn't even really dark though, just random and harsh. Pick up an item and get hit with something bad that has no chance of saving against and it changes how you play your character. Blah. Thanks everyone. I needed to get that out. Now I have to put serious though into what a Fey touched Tiefling bard would really consider as "power".

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  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I would talk to my DM seriously if they tried something like that. If handled wrong I might quit the campaign. That sort of thing can be amazing if pre planned but it feels totally different if I'm blindsided by the removal of agency. I'd be tempted to just ignore it and play my character however I want!

    Does that item somehow permanently affect the first PC to touch it and nobody else? What stops the player from getting rid of it to lose the curse, or cursing the whole party so they're on board?

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    SleepdiscriderNyhtJustTee
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    I already am rid of the item. I couldn't use it and I traded it to an NPC for something else shiny. No idea if he got the same personality switch. We were the only two to touch it during the session. I'm probably blowing it up too much if a Remove Curse or even Greater Restoration can remove it. As a player I don't know all the info.
    I trust my DM. This isn't something he'd normally come up with, so I know it's straight out of the campaign.

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