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[DnD 5E] What happens when four friends stop being nice, and start being adventurers?

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    They already made a streamlined, accessible version of D&D, but enough people manked on about it being dumbed down and basically WoW that they created 5th Edition

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    Goumindong wrote: »
    hlprmnky wrote: »
    I read the “well, we can’t get lost in the desert; that’s great, right? But then, that boils down to ‘you cross the desert. A week passes’” and thought
    why in the fuck isn’t something important happening in the desert, friends? One of your players chose to make their character a member of the Apostles of the Whispering Sands, able to coax water from downhill of a thorndevil’s burrow, find ossified-but-edible rope-cactus tubers based on the smell of the wind, and navigate by the stars even in true, deep desert where the ensorcellments of the Great Blue Dragon Auchinex ripple and warp the bowl of the night like mirage, and all you give ‘em back is ‘You cross the desert’!? Put something important in your Ranger’s favored terrain. Sheesh.

    Because if something important is happening in the desert its not travel its a destination. Travel is, almost definitionally, plot adjacent at its best. And as DnD moved more towards story and villain rather than “here is a dungeon with stuff in it” the travel must move to the wayside.

    So if you put something important in your rangers favored terrain you get “you cross the desert to the thing and then cross on the way out” nothing terribly important has changed. Moreover if you dont have a ranger you end up either just resource taxing them or not. The margin on playing the ranger is really easy to see as soon as you understand that your dm wont tpk you randomly. When things plot important aren happening then travel becomes montage; narration. Regardless of whether or not youve got a ranger.

    This means that in order to have valuable travel you have to craft your plot to be important in every area of the map the players might go. This is a lot of work

    There are number of other reasons why its hard to do well. The non-linearity of it makes it more linear/non interactive a huge amount of time. The setting(how filled in it is) can preclude significant exploration as a mechanic*. The mechanical structure of rests makes it hard to place appropriate threats.

    * Points of light, the 4e base setting, is really freaking good for allowing travel and exploration in ways that FR and Eberron just arent.

    OK so i went here and was all "travel suuuks"

    But its possible to do travel well. But this requires either exploration (as in, literally unknown wilderness with the players making their own map), or theming, or dungeoning. And it additionally requires messing with resting and doing away with a fixed concept of time.

    Exploration may additionally require theming but won't if the point of exploring is to explore. This is "ye old dungeon crawl for fun and profit" and cannot involve much of an overarching plot. It can involve a villain but this villain cannot be an active participant in something that has to be stopped(or else). The villain can only be a passive goal. Something the players can overthrow at their leisure*. If the villain is not then the space between stuff isn't there to figure out but rather to be bypassed because stuff has to be done right now. Ideally you want some landmarks so players can get an idea of where stuff goes as they're filling it in. And of course, interesting things to fill in and gradually develop an understanding of how the villain works and how to defeat them.

    Theming is, more or less, tying the things that are happening into the world and the plot as a whole. This is like the notes you find in a fallout or skyrim game that explain the plot of each dungeon you're in except since we have the advanced ability to "modify the structure of the world at a whim" we don't need notes and can dynamically handle events. Everything you come across in a travel has to be themed to a side quest that is important to the players or themed to the main plot. And this is a lot of work because it requires understanding the plot and how its effecting the world and then being able to dynamically put that in front of the players. Travel may still feel linear but it will establish verisimilitude.

    Dungeoning is turning the travel into a dungeon. Ideally the end location of the travel is a point by which there are multiple reasonable ways to get through (and even more ideally multiple interconnected options) and unreasonable ways each with up sides and down sides. You can go around the mountain or you can climb over it. Rather than having a set of random encounters you've got "rooms" and you connect the rooms with corridors. The rooms are static to themselves and each one has its own little challenge that the players must overcome when they make it to the location. The corridors are just straight up narrated unless you want to give a random encounter in them. If you do this the randomness of the encounter should be what it is and when it is but not whether or not its happening. If its a 10 day trip from the middle passage(chosen because the dwarves under the mountain owe you a favor, which you will expend in order to not have customs go over your macguffin too carefully) to the fork at Ere(a necessary stop if you're to take a ferry towards the sea and the city) then your random encounter can come on any of days 1 to 10.

    Dungeoning and theming at the same time is like... Top tier DMing. Have fun with preparing and running that.

    Doing away with the fixed concept of time just means.. Narrate travel don't make players roll for anything until you hit a random encounter. Its fine to let them know they're going to be in an encounter by narrating up to it so long as you have a consistent structure of resting. (I.E. watches don't change all that much, you don't need to ask every night). "You raft down the river for four days, taking turns watching the shoreline on the west side for orcs and the boring but difficult task of poling the raft away from the rocks. On the morning of the fifth day you [Enemy group stealth check vs parties passive perception] {spot/fail to spot} a group of orcs preparing a net trap and loading themselves into canoes obscured by shrubbery." Its totally fine to just... tell them what they failed to spot even if it might feel wrong. In a movie you would do travel as a montage with interspersed scenes in it when it was important.. just do that at the table

    Resting has to be changed because you simply cannot fit a "combat day" into travel in any way that feels right. If its a 10 day travel either one of your days is going to be hilariously busy, you're going to be buff as shit by the time you make it because if you start at zero xp and have 10 even level adventuring days in a row you should end up with about 21,200 xp per character and be almost level 7. You will also have played 20 to 40 sessions worth of combat (assuming 2 to 4 combats per session). This is just untenable.

    One week of resting isn't necessary as an alternate day but i am floating the idea that a long rest is 32 hours. Which is to say you make camp for the night and spend an entire day maxing and relaxing (and/or doing downtime stuff) and then you leave the morning after next. The end result is that you can long rest during a dungeon or a travel but it always costs you exactly a day compared to the normal rest that simply prevents you from gaining a level of exhaustion.

    *This is a good structure in general because, while it makes the world a bit static it also makes the players active rather than passive in its betterment. The villains can actively hunt out the players when the players do things to the villain but in general this will be the villain reacting to the players and not the other way around.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
    Ivellius
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    I mean. You're not wrong.

    If we're talking dream scenarios, I wish they'd pull an HD remaster and have some people go back to 4th, polish the iffy stuff out and rerelease it in one big bundle.

    Like, you already have all that content right there (currently no longer in print and across way too many books and Dragon mags), have some people go through, merge all the errata into the source, clean up the feats (getting rid of the functional duplicates, or replacing the old ones with their clearly superior later versions), tweak the old underperforming classes to bring them in line with the new ones and bam, you literally have a ready-made system with dozens of classes that, at this point, the majority of your playerbase hasn't touched yet, but is similar enough to 5th that it wouldn't be hard for them to transition to it. Heck, make the Essentials characters the defaults and make the "regular" classes as advanced options if you want.

    Glal on
    RiusFry
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    Glal wrote: »
    Personally I just wish they'd redo the skill/check system so each stat has roughly the same number of skills it affects (poor STR). I don't like that certain classes get stuck with bugger-all out-of-combat roles just due to the nature of the stats they use, while someone like a Warlock has their cake and eats it, too.

    .

    Its in the PHB that you can tie your skillchecks to other stats at the DM's discretion. Crawford uses it in the AI live games.

    So you can put intimidation (STR) in there to appear imposing or survival (STR) to determine how well someone can push through undergrowth or nature (DEX*) when someone would climb a tree and uses their discerning eye for finding good branches to put their weight on. There's no reason to ignore stats as long as your table is willing to use the options described in the book and looks a bit further than "it concerns the spoken word, so it must be CHA".

    *I had agi here first, because I was a bit SPECIAL.

    Yeah, but in practical terms it doesn't apply that often. It's pretty easy to justify using STR for intimidation checks or CON for survival checks, but once you get beyond that the justification for the stat swap starts to get pretty thin unless circumstances are weird, and the swap option tends to benefit the stats that already get a lot of skills as much or more than the ones that are shorted. In your own example, if you want to use STR to climb a tree, that's already probably just an Athletics check, and if you use the stat swap option at all it's probably gonna be to let the cleric use Athletics(WIS) to climb the tree in a way that is cognizant of where the good footing and handholds are. It's a lot easier to come up with clever ways to sub WIS or DEX for an Athletics check than it is to come up with clever ways to use STR for an Insight or Stealth check, largely because using STR or CON usually means brute-forcing the task and brute force usually isn't the clever, unexpected solution.

    Personally my biggest gripe with the stat/skill system is that they made all these int-based knowledge skills but then also made sure that int is virtually never used for anything else and that there was only one int-primary class and that there very few int-secondary ones and they were also niche ones that are less popular to play, so that unless your party has a wizard in it absolutely nobody is going to be remotely good at any knowledge skill unless you let one of the spellcasters use WIS for them or something, expressly to solve that problem.

    Bring back "highest of INT or DEX" as your initiative modifier! Stop pretending you're actually gonna use INT or CHA saves with any kind of regularity and go back to three paired saves using the highest of int/dex, str/con, and wis/cha! How did you sit down to make a simplified, streamlined, accessible version of DnD and conclude that doubling the number of different defensive modifiers to check and track was the way to do it?

    I mean, I get that. It is very much like real life in a way. Being a big ole pile of muscles is fun and all (you might look hotter, can lift heavy stuff and can hit things harder), but its not going to help you with memorizing books, juggling knives and deducing clues. Don't get me wrong, I have gripes with 5e and lament my fighter's lack of social options (I also suffer from a DM who sticks to the base spread). I prefer Pillars of Eternity where Might is a stat that replaces a bunch of other stats and does a lot more
    Might represents a character's physical and spiritual strength, brute force as well as their ability to channel powerful magic. During interactions, it can be useful for intimidating displays and acts of brute force. In combat, it contributes to both Damage and Healing as well as the Fortitude defense.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    I'm gonna ask my DM if I can use CON for persuasion (Please? Please?? Come on? Please??? Come on...)

    More seriously, I'm all for skills linking to multiple stats (just let the player decide what they exactly want to do and I'll give them a skill+stat, they can't just say "I'm going to climb this tree using wisdom").

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
    Steelhawk
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    I'm gonna ask my DM if I can use CON for persuasion (Please? Please?? Come on? Please??? Come on...)

    It's the toddler method of holding your breath until you get your way

    Elvenshae
  • hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    I'm gonna ask my DM if I can use CON for persuasion (Please? Please?? Come on? Please??? Come on...)

    ...and then did Corag the Dense challenge the lich to a drinking game, with her soul as the stakes against the freedom of her comrades. Thinking its incorporeal nature would give it an insurmountable advantage, the lich of course agreed. Foolish undead! Nothing in the Realm, nor Above nor Below, with eyes to see and a mind to wonder could hold as much liquor as Corag. This is known by me.
    - “the Lay of Corag the Dense”, Ninth Edda of the Cragmender Dwarf clan (translated)

    _
    iOS: hlprmnky | PSN: hlprmnky_2 | SC2: Callow.126
    NarbusDizzy DFryRiusElvenshaeMoridin889AnialosZonugalNerdsamwich
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    Glal wrote: »
    Personally I just wish they'd redo the skill/check system so each stat has roughly the same number of skills it affects (poor STR). I don't like that certain classes get stuck with bugger-all out-of-combat roles just due to the nature of the stats they use, while someone like a Warlock has their cake and eats it, too.

    .

    Its in the PHB that you can tie your skillchecks to other stats at the DM's discretion. Crawford uses it in the AI live games.

    So you can put intimidation (STR) in there to appear imposing or survival (STR) to determine how well someone can push through undergrowth or nature (DEX*) when someone would climb a tree and uses their discerning eye for finding good branches to put their weight on. There's no reason to ignore stats as long as your table is willing to use the options described in the book and looks a bit further than "it concerns the spoken word, so it must be CHA".

    *I had agi here first, because I was a bit SPECIAL.

    Yeah, but in practical terms it doesn't apply that often. It's pretty easy to justify using STR for intimidation checks or CON for survival checks, but once you get beyond that the justification for the stat swap starts to get pretty thin unless circumstances are weird, and the swap option tends to benefit the stats that already get a lot of skills as much or more than the ones that are shorted. In your own example, if you want to use STR to climb a tree, that's already probably just an Athletics check, and if you use the stat swap option at all it's probably gonna be to let the cleric use Athletics(WIS) to climb the tree in a way that is cognizant of where the good footing and handholds are. It's a lot easier to come up with clever ways to sub WIS or DEX for an Athletics check than it is to come up with clever ways to use STR for an Insight or Stealth check, largely because using STR or CON usually means brute-forcing the task and brute force usually isn't the clever, unexpected solution.

    Personally my biggest gripe with the stat/skill system is that they made all these int-based knowledge skills but then also made sure that int is virtually never used for anything else and that there was only one int-primary class and that there very few int-secondary ones and they were also niche ones that are less popular to play, so that unless your party has a wizard in it absolutely nobody is going to be remotely good at any knowledge skill unless you let one of the spellcasters use WIS for them or something, expressly to solve that problem.

    Bring back "highest of INT or DEX" as your initiative modifier! Stop pretending you're actually gonna use INT or CHA saves with any kind of regularity and go back to three paired saves using the highest of int/dex, str/con, and wis/cha! How did you sit down to make a simplified, streamlined, accessible version of DnD and conclude that doubling the number of different defensive modifiers to check and track was the way to do it?

    What's interesting is that I gave my players a new "character sheet" to play with for a few sessions. Across the top of the sheet was their name, class, level, and then horizontally across the 6 stats and their modifiers for each (no raw value anywhere).

    After that, in the middle, I put their proficiency modifier.

    Then, separate from their stat modifiers, I just listed the skills they picked to be proficient in.


    Now, when it comes to making any sort of skill check, I *just* say "Make a <stat> check", where <stat> is one of the big 6. Then the players get to say how they'll leverage their skills, which informs the narrative and may (usually) let them add their proficiency modifier to things.

    So, if they established that their character was being quiet and paying attention as the others were distracted, they might be able to add Perception to a dexterity saving throw for a trap the others tripped. Or they might be able to use their knowledge of arcana to add proficiency to a dexterity check to turn off a trap. Or whatever they might come up with to justify narratively having an edge at something.

    Like brute forcing a horse to stop bucking is conceivably a Strength - Animal Handling check, right?

    I dunno. It seems to go over well with my players. And it lets me be more forceful at requiring certain checks to be made, and makes players more OK with that since they know they can always try to get proficiency modifiers added to things.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    AldoLindFryTynnanNarbusGlalElvenshaehlprmnkyIvellius
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Wonder if 5E would be more interesting if the general rule is that a "long rest" is when the party gets to take a week off in a location of safety (e.g. town), and "short rest" is when you sleep for the night out in the wilds. Also get rid of stuff like Rope Trick that lets you cheat at resting. Solves a lot of issues that bug me: why don't we long rest after every encounter, why don't we short rest after every encounter, why do we care whether we have a ranger that helps bypass overworld terrain, etc. Might be a bit harsh on "long rest" classes, particularly at low levels, though.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    So question. Does anybody actually run or play in a game that does the whole 6 encounters in an adventuring day consistently? If so, is it a lot of random encounters?

    Steam ID: Webguy20
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    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    Wonder if 5E would be more interesting if the general rule is that a "long rest" is when the party gets to take a week off in a location of safety (e.g. town), and "short rest" is when you sleep for the night out in the wilds. Also get rid of stuff like Rope Trick that lets you cheat at resting. Solves a lot of issues that bug me: why don't we long rest after every encounter, why don't we short rest after every encounter, why do we care whether we have a ranger that helps bypass overworld terrain, etc. Might be a bit harsh on "long rest" classes, particularly at low levels, though.

    I agree with the principle, but the balance of that would be wild in the current edition. I think it's more like 4E - which, from my limited understanding, was more about Encounter-based powers, so there was less of a difference between a completely expended character vs a fresh from rest character.

    I think one of the biggest problems in 5E is the issue of Time, and how it more or less doesn't matter unless you as a DM take a whole lot of effort to *make* it matter. And making Time matter is really an issue of making your players *care* about the time involved.

    In 5E, there's no default way to say "Oh, you guys took too long to do [The Thing], so now, this [Bad Thing] happens instead". Most of the time, if you try to pull that off at the table, you look like a DM-Screw Job. So, you have to come up with elaborate methods to show how time advancing can be bad / good for your players, which, can be a lot of work.

    Or, you steal ruthlessly from other systems.

    One of the things I stole straight out of Blades in the Dark (and we ran a one shot of it beforehand so my players were familiar with it) was the Clocks system. So the way that works - you draw a circle with different divisions. Maybe it's a 4 slice pie, or maybe it's a 12 slice pie. It might start blank or it might start with a couple notches, or it might be almost full.

    Then, you put it in front of the players, and give it a name. So, it might be "Ritual Sacrifice of the Dragon by the Evil Princess". It might be just "Doom". It might be "Guard Alterness Level". It now gives you a little mechanical lever. When your players successfully advance along their adventure, you might advance clocks on things they didn't work towards. Or maybe they get to reverse / erase some progress. For example:

    I set a travel scenario up for my players. They knew that a [Bad Thing] was happening in 7 days. It was 5 days travel away if they went fast and wrecklessly (but risked more random encounters and might miss interesting sights), 7 days travel by normal speed on the roads, and 9 days travel at a slow pace (slow pace would allow them to heal and recover and avoid any random encounters they didn't want to face, but would get them there with the enemy fully prepared and ready and reinforced).

    Then, I set a clock with 7 divisions to represent the days of travel, and let them go. Each day they had to pick a speed, which determined how likely a random encounter was. Each day of fast travel added exhaustion levels. Each day of slow travel removed an exhaustion level. Each random encounter cost them resources.

    Now, I set up a map for them, and each day, they could pick their path, their speed, and see what happened. They could investigate what they found, which might give them boons for the eventual fight, or might find short cuts, or maybe they'd get lost. But, it would cost them potential precious ticks on the clock. It gave multiple spots for creative solution finding (befriending a local guide - survival checks to help find food - animal handling to prevent cart break downs - scouting - resting - etc). And it let the players make interesting decisions each day.


    But, that travel sequence took multiple in-game sessions to play out, and was a focal point of an entire level's worth of encounters and RP. I had to make sure to have lots of potential dramas, various things for them to discover (or not), multiple potential pit falls and sudden successes, lots of NPCs...

    And yeah, it took a ton of time to plan and work out and do. But that's the only way I've found to make Travel / Exploration matter. Do you expend time to Explore the ruins you just found? Well, if Time is infinite, obviously you do. If Time is short, then you have to choose to risk "wasting" time vs finding something potentially valuable. Even if players kinda know that you'll reward them for exploring...

    I dunno! Things are hard in D&D and I kinda agree with everyone saying that 5E didn't really do anything to shore up the fundamental problems in the game system that kind of have always existed? And I kinda wish I could get my players to play games in other systems...lol

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    ElvenshaeFryNarbusAldoIvellius
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I haven't run a "full" adventuring day in years. Most of the time it's one or two encounters per day, sometimes three if there's a really good story reason that the party wouldn't be able to rest.

    If I want random encounters I'll just play a board game.

    ElvenshaeArcanisTheImpotent
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Fuck, the clock system from Blades is a great thing to steal. I'll have to keep that in mind.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
    JustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    webguy20 wrote: »
    So question. Does anybody actually run or play in a game that does the whole 6 encounters in an adventuring day consistently? If so, is it a lot of random encounters?

    For travel or whatever, for random encounters, I adopt a very loosey-goosey flow of combat "how do you want to do this" with the party, unless I know they're going to encounter more things (since fully rested a random encounter is not likely to be a threat to the party, unless they're really jonesing for getting the minis out we'll just keep it flowing)

    For actual adventures: going through the town then into the mine to the mcguffin chamber of secrets, yeah - keeping in mind an "encounter" doesn't have to be a fight, it just needs to be an obstacle that takes resources to get past

    In dungeons I don't make them take an hour for short rests, after a battle that consumes resources I allow party members who want to expend one quarter of their hit dice and gain the benefits of a short rest with just 1 minute of downtime (they can still spent hit dice to heal, but 1/4, rounded down, are burned up as the resource before they get chance). I had called it renewed resolve or something but my players just call it "fast short rest"

    After they do one of these they have to make a CLASS_PRIMARY_STAT saving throw of DC 15 or take a point of exhaustion, they can flavor this quick bout of healing and recovery how they want: The monk medidates for inner peace for 5 minutes, the warlock beckons their patron for more power, the wizard attempts to swap places with a slightly more rested version of themself from a timeline where they just short rested, the fighter does push ups, the barbarian drinks a keg of ale - it's up to them

    My players really enjoy this mechanic

    override367 on
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    Wonder if 5E would be more interesting if the general rule is that a "long rest" is when the party gets to take a week off in a location of safety (e.g. town), and "short rest" is when you sleep for the night out in the wilds. Also get rid of stuff like Rope Trick that lets you cheat at resting. Solves a lot of issues that bug me: why don't we long rest after every encounter, why don't we short rest after every encounter, why do we care whether we have a ranger that helps bypass overworld terrain, etc. Might be a bit harsh on "long rest" classes, particularly at low levels, though.

    Pretty sure that's one of the many, many 'optional rules' in the DMG, actually. And it probably makes sense alongside the sort of pacing you'd need to make exploration and social encounters/downtime focuses of your game.

    I've definitely thought about using it myself, but my current campaign happens to be a nautical one where the party frequently spends a week or more sitting on a ship sailing between locations anyway, so it probably wouldn't change much for me at the moment.

    JustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    I've tried gritty realism, the party will literally build a goddamn inn in the wilderness so they can rest, and you have to utterly break the plausibility of the world to have hordes of random monsters attack them, after all, people do travel on the roads, people who aren't incredibly powerful adventurers. Also shit like I ran into in a game where the party all quit the DM because none of us liked what he was doing: "I rest until I get my spells back", "you have to rest in town to do that", "Okay so, I'm a druid, and I can't get my spells back in nature?", "err...", "I grew up in the woods and didn't even own clothes until I could kill a wolf myself to make them and I can't sleep in spring time in GENERIC_WESTERN_EUROPEAN_WOODS?"

    Conversations like that quickly make me realize that it breaks everything to force them to only "long rest" in town.

    all the effort led me to ask why I even bother, my players don't mind roflstomping road bandits, thats when I just ditched regular combat in random encounters alltogether for common road encounters (I only have "combat" road encounters rarely anyway unless they're actually travelling through the wilderness, and if they are I have checks associated with getting a long rest on a given day - however once they got Leomund's tiny hut, and with a ranger out in front, it feels like I'd have to really strain credulity to have anything short of a dragon be a threat)

    override367 on
    JustTee
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    The way i made time matter in my Curse of Strahd game is by early in thinking of the motivations of all the primary NPCs and having them do the things they would do if the PCs are not around when the PCs are not around.

    In other words, when the PCs spent several days (based on travel time and rests) going up onto the mountains, spending a bunch of time in a dungeon, then going forget up the mountain to a (homebrew) barbarian village, then finally coming down the mountain (CoS spoilers, some of it is Homebrew or specific to my game based on previous interactions):
    - Esmeralda agreed to keep Rictavio from going on a Vistani murder spree based on PCs asking her to do so. The two of them were in his tower when the Brides (boosted to full vamp) showed up, frustrated at not having been able to kill the PCs earlier because the PCs ran away. They kidnap Esmeralda and collapse the tower on Rictavio who survives hunched under the golems that powered the elevator. Strahd charms Esmeralda into bring a new girlfriend (something he had earlier been trying to do with one of the PCs who was rescued before the full effect). Later on as more time passes, he ends up turning her into a spawn by the time PCs ran into her again. Rictavio didn't know what happened to her and had assumed she was dead. The tiger ran away during the Bride assault on the tower, and eventually made his way to the Valaki Vistani can where he went on a range until they killed him and hung him up on display.
    - the Abbot came home from the disaster of the Crimson Wedding (shamelessly stolen from GoT), and figured if a manufactured bride is not good enough he'll just have to train some of the peasant girls into refinement then submit them to Strahd. He had his minions kidnap a bunch from Krezk.
    - Baba Lysaga had essentially gone out on full blown war on ravens (ware and otherwise), and the vineyard is on lockdown.
    - the vampirifed Lady Watchter has consolidated her hold on Valaki with a mix of Vistani and Warewolf enforcers. The marriage alliance between her and the warewolf pack by having Stella marry the oldest pup of the ww leader of working great. Anyone involved with the original Burgomeister regime or the "council" government the players had set up before leaving has been hung in the town square. The Martikovs managed to flee but are now part of the siege at the vineyard. Regular people are moving about again, having changed one tyrant for another. They are much less likely to support the players hare brained ideas should they come by again. The made son if the old baran has fled North across the lake to look for the Mad Mage to seek help leaving Barovia. Lady Watchter herself is bodyguarded by a vampirified group of adventures Strahd toyed/dealt with some years ago.
    - with all of Strahd's attention focused westwards, the village of Barovia is enjoying a bit of a Reneissance

    The players didn't know any of this was happening and still don't know large chunks of it because they can't be everywhere at once. I didn't plan out any of it ahead of time, rather after each session with them i asked myself "what would have everyone else been doing in the in-have time this session took place".

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    So question. Does anybody actually run or play in a game that does the whole 6 encounters in an adventuring day consistently? If so, is it a lot of random encounters?

    Ish? Dungeon heavy sometimes but usually its 1 to 2 big fights a day with 3-4 decent sized fights on average. When i DM i try to get a good number of encounters in per "day".
    JustTee wrote: »
    I agree with the principle, but the balance of that would be wild in the current edition. I think it's more like 4E - which, from my limited understanding, was more about Encounter-based powers, so there was less of a difference between a completely expended character vs a fresh from rest character.

    I have done this for an exploration type game and it works pretty well so long as your party is onboard. In general you go out to do something and you get as many short resists. There is a single or double encounter at the end. You have random or curated encounters in the middle with no more than one or two per day.

    The "adventuring day" then is more like an "adventuring week". Having a system like this is one of the only ways to "fix" travel because you otherwise cannot have resource draining encounters and verisimilitude at the same time.

    I think the "32 hour rest" is more ideal though. It achieves the same idea (you have to spend a full day) but isn't quite as punishing for long rest based classes.

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  • NyhtNyht Registered User regular
    Alright so I can't talk to the players about this as its about them so I'll talk about it here.

    Awhile back I started up this campaign that we're still running along with, albeit some sessions are a month or so apart (while others are just weeks).

    My sister in law started out with a Character that she ran through the first part of the Campaign, where, as a druid, she helped fight off a Blight with the other party members.

    She also has a bad habit of switching characters and after that was over, she's now on character number ... 4? Maybe 5. Anyway, back in the day, with her ORIGINAL character, I had started laying down clues that she was this ruler of a neutral area of land in the Feywild, the Wyld Wood (everything's cooler with the Y, right?). But not only did she lose all memory of that life, no one else remembered it either. Like NO one. Gone from memory and history.

    Well now, fast forward like a year, with her new character they are finally delving into the Forgotten Kingdom that my Brother's Character and my Wife's character, seeing a wooden statue, recognize as the sister in law's ORIGINAL character. This sparks interest with my sister in law that this is coming back around.

    HOWEVER, I had taken my daughter aside and told her earlier that when this comes up, that HER character just sees a faded statue with no face. AND that she's never heard of this character before even though she was there with them all in the beginning when they all fought. An NPC backs up my Daughter's story in this matter. Whoever my wife and brother's character is claiming was there, never was ...

    AFTER that session where they started to delve into the "Faded" (the ruins of this tree castle and deeper within with astral horrors within), I took my wife aside and told her the following. She's never heard of this character either. AND, no only that, she remembers telling my brother's character that she ALSO just saw an empty face and that the character wasn't there either. My daughter's character will ALSO remember my wife's character saying this. So now JUST my brother will remember these events ...

    And the best part about all of this is that my wife and daughter think THEY are the ones having THEIR minds screwed with out of character. But that's not the case. In reality, my brother's character this whole time has been remembering events wrong, as the "Faded" will be somewhat tied to his character and his new title as the Huntsman, which there will be reasons for.

    The character isn't fading from memory. She never was.

    ... or was she?

    That should be coming out either next session or the session after. This has been a lot of fun.

    That's it ... just wanted to share.

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  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Im trying out the DM subscription on Beyond so my players can share content of the books I have on there. It'll be interesting to see how well it works. Mostly I didn't want them to all have to pass around the single Aq Inc book we have during character creation.

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  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    I don't think i've ever run a full six encounters adventuring day - mainly because we tend to play once a month for a good 5 hours but still, only once a month - and my players want to feel badass and use their cool abilities. While still having some story meat to chew on that's more than just dungeon crawling. So we never get into a situation where it makes sense for me to throw a bunch of small encounters at the party that they need to fight using only cantrips. because that's just a giant part of the rare session we play.

    I think if we played every week I could do more of that, and have some more classic dungeon crawl experiences but as it stands - I only use random (punishing encounters) when the players decide to not engage with the story because they want another long rest because they've just used a spell slot, and they know the big fight is in the next room. Whenever players do that - i either give a random encounter, or I augment whatever is in the room with another trap, or some more cover, or some more random enemies. and i'll give hints that there's more movement marks and traces that weren't there the day before.

    I think if we'd play every week I could find the time to play around with exploration and exhaustion levels for failing survival checks, some smaller random encounters, and the express ability to actually fail finding the macguffin they were after. but currently its just - talk to the right people, find the right maps, and you can find the place you want to find and then be awesome.

  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    I'm conflicted about the rest system. The few times my GMs have thrown a bunch of encounters at us in a day I really enjoyed it, but I also felt frustrated that I often ended them with my tippy top stuff completely unused, either because I saved them for no good reason or because the one fight the powerful-but-circumstantial ability would have been useful in I didn't use it.

    I think it might just be FOMO on my part more than anything else. I need to stop trying to maximise my effectiveness and just use stuff when it's useful.

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited June 26
    With the refocused emphasis on the roleplay aspects in 5e, I more strongly feel that a mix of 4e and 5e systems would be best. I think the majority of a caster's arsenal should be useable every encounter, with say 1-2 big whammie spells restricted to 1/day for the battles that count. Even 4e had the problem in later levels where the group could frontload a bunch of Daily powers if they knew that was their only fight that day. With this style, players will be at predictable power level despite the length of the adventure day.

    As for the utility aspects of magic, either keep them separate ALA 5e ritual casting or perhaps up the number of whammies a bit and put them there.

    Terrendos on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 26
    I'd need to be convinced that players having powerful abilities for random encounters is a problem for normal travel

    For extreme conditions, we can do checks associated with being able to long rest in those conditions (if you're running this campaign do yourself a favor and just eliminate the Tiny Hut spell and make goodberry consume its material component in session zero, otherwise you'll just end up with upset players as you try to hammer drama around survival with those spells existing), for non extreme conditions... well, sucks to be any group of bandits or orcs that runs into a party of armed to the teeth adventurers

    Unless survival is the point of the campaign you are running, I don't see the big deal. I flatly do not let players long rest in a dungeon that hasn't been completed unless they have a high level spell like Magnificent Mansion and that's the only place where it really matters. Outdoor set-pieces should have multiple encounters, or simply make combat involve waves of foes, or a timetable from the moment combat is engaged that makes a long rest a Bad Idea

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  • SCREECH OF THE FARGSCREECH OF THE FARG #1 PARROTHEAD margaritavilleRegistered User regular
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 26
    I feel like they didn't do that because they don't like a hard division between "a fight" and "not a fight", despite the call for initiative being that hard dividing line between "the rp stuff" and "the battle stuff" for most people

    I have a homebrew feat on my half-hobgoblin artificer that gives me Martial Advantage. This ability is usable once and recharges "when initiative is rolled" which has proven to be a remarkably elegant balancing mechanic and I kind of want to leave work and go bury myself in onenote trying different ideas on paper to adapt this to the rest of the game (my players have enjoyed the "you can burn hit dice for instant short rests" mechanic a lot, combined with me giving basically every long rest class a variant of arcane recovery)

    override367 on
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

    Indeed the mileage may vary! I do not like this, because I feel like this solution would very much feed into the "5-minute workday" notion, and I very much hate that idea.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

    Indeed the mileage may vary! I do not like this, because I feel like this solution would very much feed into the "5-minute workday" notion, and I very much hate that idea.

    So I'll explain because it's the exact opposite, it actively cripples the concept of "5-minute workday".

    You don't refresh long recharge powers until you've hit a significant goal. If you don't hit a goal then resting doesn't do anything for you. If you stop short and feel you can't press on anymore you basically cry uncle to the DM. You give them narrative permission that says you failed and a bad thing you do not like will happen in the story. The ritual completes, the princess marries Humperdink, or even just the party's favorite Inn is burnt to the ground. Then you get to refresh all your stuff and deal with consequences.

    This does make it explicit that a DM has to curate groups of challenges but frankly DMs have always done this to some extent.

    SteelhawkArdentSleepSmrtnikPowerpuppiesJustTeeMoridin889
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

    Indeed the mileage may vary! I do not like this, because I feel like this solution would very much feed into the "5-minute workday" notion, and I very much hate that idea.

    So I'll explain because it's the exact opposite, it actively cripples the concept of "5-minute workday".

    You don't refresh long recharge powers until you've hit a significant goal. If you don't hit a goal then resting doesn't do anything for you. If you stop short and feel you can't press on anymore you basically cry uncle to the DM. You give them narrative permission that says you failed and a bad thing you do not like will happen in the story. The ritual completes, the princess marries Humperdink, or even just the party's favorite Inn is burnt to the ground. Then you get to refresh all your stuff and deal with consequences.

    This does make it explicit that a DM has to curate groups of challenges but frankly DMs have always done this to some extent.

    Ah! I misunderstood! For some reason my thinking went to something like 4e encounter powers recharging.... but that you get the effects of a long rest instead. Of course the "narrative achievement" can be something more than an encounter. My bad.

    Elvenshae
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 26
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

    Indeed the mileage may vary! I do not like this, because I feel like this solution would very much feed into the "5-minute workday" notion, and I very much hate that idea.

    So I'll explain because it's the exact opposite, it actively cripples the concept of "5-minute workday".

    You don't refresh long recharge powers until you've hit a significant goal. If you don't hit a goal then resting doesn't do anything for you. If you stop short and feel you can't press on anymore you basically cry uncle to the DM. You give them narrative permission that says you failed and a bad thing you do not like will happen in the story. The ritual completes, the princess marries Humperdink, or even just the party's favorite Inn is burnt to the ground. Then you get to refresh all your stuff and deal with consequences.

    This does make it explicit that a DM has to curate groups of challenges but frankly DMs have always done this to some extent.

    My only crash-and-burn-game DM did exactly this and it's why we quit

    We weren't on an important quest and ran out of spells fighting a bunch of wolves, rested and were told we didn't get spells back. We pointed out that he all but handicapped our all-long-rest-classes party by doing this, DM said that it was better for the narrative

    We said okay well pull off to a roadside inn and rest until we get our spells back. He reiterated that spells don't come back that way, only after our characters complete certain milestones.

    We got into loud, angry, real-life shouty argument about "How the fuck did I ever get my spells back in the first place at the temple or mage school or druid circle? Does this apply to NPCs? If a dragon breathson us can we just dip and come back later knowing his main attack is gone forever because he hasn't achieved a narrative device to recharge his spells yet?"

    It actually ruined the friendship between the 5 of us and the DM once swearing came into the picture and he called someone a retard for using the argument that it felt "gamey" because this is a game, and his wife told him to STFU, and whew

    AFAIK they still have actual in real life relationship fights over some of his DM decisions for a campaign that lasted for all of 2 games

    The moral of the story is make sure your players are absolutely okay with it. Also make sure you're even addressing something your players feel is a problem

    override367 on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    One way to avoid the "5 minute workday" feel is to present players with a setting where the goals they are trying to accomplish are time-sensitive so they can't just take a day off after every couple of fights.

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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Personally, I would get rid of Daily powers completely. I think everything should be Encounter or At-Will. The mechanics should be driving PCs toward the next encounter, not away from it.

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    My players didn't give a shit about the timeline of the Death Curse on day one. Now its day 25-something of open world jungle humping later and they still don't give a shit. :)

    So neither do I. "Death Curse bad. Got it. Lets splunk through the new Tomb of Horrors!" Is good enough for us.

    I mean, frankly, if this campaign of mine was tied onto a larger narrative, I might not have relented so much. But these character are, most likely, going to be dead or retired after we (eventually!) Finish this module. So whatevs

    Lindoverride367Elvenshae
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    Personally, I would get rid of Daily powers completely. I think everything should be Encounter or At-Will. The mechanics should be driving PCs toward the next encounter, not away from it.

    You need to use the proper terminology when talking about 5e! It's not "encounter" it's "power that recharges on a short or long rest!" It's not "daily" it's "power that recharges on a long rest!" :wink:

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    Personally, I would get rid of Daily powers completely. I think everything should be Encounter or At-Will. The mechanics should be driving PCs toward the next encounter, not away from it.

    You need to use the proper terminology when talking about 5e! It's not "encounter" it's "power that recharges on a short or long rest!" It's not "daily" it's "power that recharges on a long rest!" :wink:

    yadda yadda but this isn't a bad idea, actually. You can still sort of do the ticking clock when a short rest takes significantly longer than 5-minutes, and the short rest is actively long enough that if you're in a "dungeon" environment you can give the enemies much smaller narrative victories (things like "they heard the commotion and knew you were coming, so they're prepared instead of just hanging out")

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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    Personally, I would get rid of Daily powers completely. I think everything should be Encounter or At-Will. The mechanics should be driving PCs toward the next encounter, not away from it.

    You need to use the proper terminology when talking about 5e! It's not "encounter" it's "power that recharges on a short or long rest!" It's not "daily" it's "power that recharges on a long rest!" :wink:

    Right right right sorry, what I meant to say was "Personally, I would get rid of features, abilities, or spells that can't be used again until that character finishes a long rest. I think every feature, ability, or spell should either be able to be used again after that character has finished a short rest, be able to be used as long as the character is able to perform the action type required to use the feature or ability, or be a cantrip."

    Ahh, so many more words to charge for much easier to understand! :wink:

    ElvenshaePowerpuppies
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I think having classes be balanced around short/long rests was a mistake

    How would you have done it?

    Long recharge abilities, then powers that you are always assumed to have ready for each fight, with some things you can always reliably do repeatedly.

    Personally I like splitting off the long recharge cycle from literal days and tying it into narrative achievements but that's very anti-simulationist. Folks mileage might vary on how that suits them.

    Indeed the mileage may vary! I do not like this, because I feel like this solution would very much feed into the "5-minute workday" notion, and I very much hate that idea.

    So I'll explain because it's the exact opposite, it actively cripples the concept of "5-minute workday".

    You don't refresh long recharge powers until you've hit a significant goal. If you don't hit a goal then resting doesn't do anything for you. If you stop short and feel you can't press on anymore you basically cry uncle to the DM. You give them narrative permission that says you failed and a bad thing you do not like will happen in the story. The ritual completes, the princess marries Humperdink, or even just the party's favorite Inn is burnt to the ground. Then you get to refresh all your stuff and deal with consequences.

    This does make it explicit that a DM has to curate groups of challenges but frankly DMs have always done this to some extent.

    My only crash-and-burn-game DM did exactly this and it's why we quit

    We weren't on an important quest and ran out of spells fighting a bunch of wolves, rested and were told we didn't get spells back. We pointed out that he all but handicapped our all-long-rest-classes party by doing this, DM said that it was better for the narrative

    We said okay well pull off to a roadside inn and rest until we get our spells back. He reiterated that spells don't come back that way, only after our characters complete certain milestones.

    We got into loud, angry, real-life shouty argument about "How the fuck did I ever get my spells back in the first place at the temple or mage school or druid circle? Does this apply to NPCs? If a dragon breathson us can we just dip and come back later knowing his main attack is gone forever because he hasn't achieved a narrative device to recharge his spells yet?"

    It actually ruined the friendship between the 5 of us and the DM once swearing came into the picture and he called someone a retard for using the argument that it felt "gamey" because this is a game, and his wife told him to STFU, and whew

    AFAIK they still have actual in real life relationship fights over some of his DM decisions for a campaign that lasted for all of 2 games

    The moral of the story is make sure your players are absolutely okay with it. Also make sure you're even addressing something your players feel is a problem

    It sounds like you quit because your DM got abusive, which good job there.

    The variant absolutely requires the DM to curate encounters and pretty much ditch the entire concept of random encounters. I've had enough "fun" slamming my head against RNG walls I don't find it very interesting but it absolutely makes things more "game-ish". Which it is very much a game so I'm totally down making sure it is a good game with interesting choices to be made. I'll admit that DMs understanding half of a narrative design concept and using it to shackle players is a thing that bad DMs do all the time.

    As for springing such a massive rules change after it comes up, that's just clown shoes.

    SleepElvenshaeSmrtnikPowerpuppiesJustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited June 26
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    My players didn't give a shit about the timeline of the Death Curse on day one. Now its day 25-something of open world jungle humping later and they still don't give a shit. :)

    So neither do I. "Death Curse bad. Got it. Lets splunk through the new Tomb of Horrors!" Is good enough for us.

    I mean, frankly, if this campaign of mine was tied onto a larger narrative, I might not have relented so much. But these character are, most likely, going to be dead or retired after we (eventually!) Finish this module. So whatevs

    I made the timeline of the death curse kind of vague so I could use it as a tool to make them move or let them know they had time to breath whenever

    I also stole a mechanic from X-Com's avatar project - the Death Curse was a ticking clock but there were always things (that I wanted them to do in the jungle that they were unlikely to spontaneously do) that could weaken Acererak's ritual and buy them time

    I roughly mapped out that no matter what they had a year, and it looks like when we pick that campaign back up in september that they'll probably finish it around the 7 month mark (this left room for boat trips to the mainland, a side trip to Ravenloft of all places, opening a restaurant, and other stuff)

    override367 on
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