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Into the Odd [Tabletop Roleplaying] Appreciation Zone

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    PC's being absent a player is something that's mostly just trust and discussing it before hand. Kinda like PvP.

    As an example, when I was playing my shitty Empire agent with the PC's I made it clear that I didn't mind getting attacked or whatever, I just didn't want it to be mechanical PvP. I wanted it to be 'oh yeah she gets captured why are we pretending it's a contest'.

    In general just set up the boundaries before hand. Heck, if it's the players story just tell them the outline in chat before hand and let them pick the general actions and opinions of their PC so you can play them faithfully.

    Then just don't let them die or otherwise get maimed before they get returned to their rightful owner.

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    captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    Yes, because the real poison to a campaign is long breaks. They can end the whole thing.

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    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    - Sometimes an session ends mid-adventure, so we pick up where we left off on the next session. In such cases, the players do not wish to handwave when a character is unable to be present, and would rather postpone if one is unavailable.

    This is the part where I'd've gone a different way - "Character So-and-so is just off-screen while the player can't make it; too bad" - but if everyone is on-board with the other stuff, then that's fine, too.

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    captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    I received my Rifts for Savage Worlds: Atlantis book in the mail this week. It's got some neat stuff, but I think Atlantis, while iconic, is also one of the least usable setting books in regular Rifts and again in this conversion.

    The whole island is run by the Splugorth, who are diabolically evil alien slavers. They run raids on the east coast of North America to capture slaves and bring them back to Atlantis for sale or gladiator fights or whatever other evil shit they're up to. So on the island itself, any human or 'normal' D-Bee is basically unwelcome and likely to be detained as a presumed escaped slave or potential slave. It's just a relentlessly hostile continent with no safe zones. And they make a big deal about it also being the best, most diverse marketplace to buy stuff, but how are any normie humans going to actually be free long enough to go shopping? And then the new items are all stuff that is similarly hard to use:
    -Biological cybernetics/mods that are either for gladiator slaves or Splugorth servants
    -Microbes for minor health effects despite being pricey
    -Parasites which either have minor benefits but major drawbacks, or are just bad. These are only useful as traps or time-bombs for players, really.
    -Symbiotes which are good, but again, seemingly reserved for Splugorth servants
    -Magic tattoos, which...only the Splugorth know how to do (and maybe True Atlanteans). If you get more than 2 in a six month period, you die. If you're not human, ogre, or True Atlantean, you can't get them. Elves can get them but with penalties.
    -Rune weapons which, guess what, only the Splugorth know how to make. Also each rune weapon is actually an enslaved creature whose magical power/lifeforce powers the weapon, so if you're at all heroic, you're going to want to free them, not use the weapon.

    Unless you're just an completely amoral mercenary or straight-up evil character, there's no justification for actually working for the Splugorth to get their goodies. And even if you're fighting them, most of the stuff you could loot is also evil to just use. There's lots of pages dedicated to this stuff and such a narrow use case for most of it. There are sentences here and there about resistance groups and escaped slaves, but so much of the content is written like you'd be able to just walk around when logically there's no way that would work.

    It also incorporates a lot of Rifts Underseas. Which, undersea stuff is also notoriously difficult to use without just setting your whole campaign underwater. Information about how deep you can go with scuba gear versus power armor versus a submarine, rules for getting the bends, all stuff that you probably will just end up handwaving or giving everyone the same suit or magic item to get around the hassle.

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    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    Yeah that seems awful top to bottom.

    I always feel really weird about slavery in fiction. If realistic, you're going to have to reckon with the horrific real world parallels. But once you get magic or fantasy involved, it's even worse because you could literally invent anything else to solve whatever "problem" slavery is meant to address.

    Even if it's the "bad guys" doing the slaving, it just reads like fridging, but at the ethnic/political level.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Honestly I don't want slavery or racist garbage at the table.

    But if it is I hate if it's not just, the rawest, meanest thing.

    Like if you're gonna give me harsh topics at the fun TTRPG table make it correctly harsh and disgusting.

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Honestly I don't want slavery or racist garbage at the table.

    But if it is I hate if it's not just, the rawest, meanest thing.

    Like if you're gonna give me harsh topics at the fun TTRPG table make it correctly harsh and disgusting.

    Yeah, I mean, either don’t include it or have the game and the entire table tackle it head on and directly.

    And I’d say the correct decision for 95%+ of tables is to not include it due to either being unable/unwilling/uninterested in fully engaging with the topic.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Honestly I don't want slavery or racist garbage at the table.

    But if it is I hate if it's not just, the rawest, meanest thing.

    Like if you're gonna give me harsh topics at the fun TTRPG table make it correctly harsh and disgusting.

    Yeah, I mean, either don’t include it or have the game and the entire table tackle it head on and directly.

    And I’d say the correct decision for 95%+ of tables is to not include it due to either being unable/unwilling/uninterested in fully engaging with the topic.

    Yup, it's a very "don't do it unless you mean it" vibe.

    You can do a slavery campaign if you wanna vibe it right.

    Heck Spire is a racism campaign forever.

    But the thing I hate most in fantasy games is like "orc big strong and evil".

    Just be honest about the shit.

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    CruorCruor Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    I play in a DnD game that's pirate themed and heavily borrowing from Ghosts of Saltmarsh. There's slavery and penal colonies and all that shit. The character I play used to work on a prison ship as a carpenter/sometimes enforcer until he had an awakening and became a hardline anti-slavery, anti-incarceration tempest cleric. There's a city that runs primarily on slavery and he's made a solemn vow to the gods of the ocean that he's gonna return there, save all of the slaves, and burn the city to the ground.

    It can be very cathartic to know that you are completely justified in blasting some bad bad dudes with righteous magical lightning. They're for slavery? Oh ho ho, time for them to violently return to the earth.

    Cruor on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    in news that nobody will care about but me, DriveThruRPG is having a Christmas in July sale and I was browsing around for deals and apparently Beat to Quarters, the Age of Sail game I've seen highly recommended, is "pay what you want", so I gave them five bucks.

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/65115/Beat-to-Quarters

    it's for playing Horatio Hornblower or Patrick O'Brian games and I've heard nothing but good things about it. My new dream is to get this to the table - any table - someday, somehow.

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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    in news that nobody will care about but me, DriveThruRPG is having a Christmas in July sale and I was browsing around for deals and apparently Beat to Quarters, the Age of Sail game I've seen highly recommended, is "pay what you want", so I gave them five bucks.

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/65115/Beat-to-Quarters

    it's for playing Horatio Hornblower or Patrick O'Brian games and I've heard nothing but good things about it. My new dream is to get this to the table - any table - someday, somehow.

    I mean, I am super into this

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    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    I wonder if it’s PbPable.

    (I also chipped in another $5 …)

    Elvenshae on
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    tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks OaklandRegistered User regular
    Working on a back up pc for 5e if my current weirdo dies in this arc of the empire invading us and us doing a Star Wars about that.

    Main pitch is a Kobold who was the demolitions expert/alchemist on a crew that hit mines for the magic mega material the empire’s invading for.

    Only for her to wind up just as much a refugee as anyone else when the crews latest ‘polite tax’ on a mine is interrupted by an Imperial take over.

    So far I only really have ‘All feats, no ASI to represent a civilian over an adventurer, read up all the various rules on making explosives and alchemy stuff’ but avoiding magic spell lists and finding a class for her is trickier.

    I mean, this feels like an Alchemist Artificer. Tone down the magic or explain/reflavor it as you need and you're there.

    Alternately, this could be a decent Rogue build, potentially using the Thief subclass.

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to get away from using magic in 5e.

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    CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    So, Monster Care Squad. I'm tentatively interested in trying to run it for a group of friends, but the rules are vague in a couple of critical areas (this review covers most of the things I noticed), and the example of play at the end of the book is heavily elided. I'm the kind of person who needs specific examples of what it actually looks like to run/play a game. Rules are great and all, but I'm constantly going, "Ok, but how does that work in actual play?"

    MCS is both new and a niche game, so there are understandably not a lot of resources. On top of that, I have ADHD and have trouble tolerating podcasts and videos, especially for learning and absorbing information. It's text or nothing.

    Help?

    I have attempted to GM a total of 3 times - twice in person (Burning Wheel and Torchbearer) and once PbP (Apocalypse World) - and all three times felt like I was trying to carry an armload of tennis balls without dropping any, while also trying to pull out and present the correct tennis balls at the correct times. It was stressful and awkward and not fun, and yet for some reason I keep thinking it might be fun next time.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Working on a back up pc for 5e if my current weirdo dies in this arc of the empire invading us and us doing a Star Wars about that.

    Main pitch is a Kobold who was the demolitions expert/alchemist on a crew that hit mines for the magic mega material the empire’s invading for.

    Only for her to wind up just as much a refugee as anyone else when the crews latest ‘polite tax’ on a mine is interrupted by an Imperial take over.

    So far I only really have ‘All feats, no ASI to represent a civilian over an adventurer, read up all the various rules on making explosives and alchemy stuff’ but avoiding magic spell lists and finding a class for her is trickier.

    I mean, this feels like an Alchemist Artificer. Tone down the magic or explain/reflavor it as you need and you're there.

    Alternately, this could be a decent Rogue build, potentially using the Thief subclass.

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to get away from using magic in 5e.

    Yeah the goal is 100% no spell list.

    She's not an artificer she's a dirtbag loser.

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    GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    Calica wrote: »
    So, Monster Care Squad. I'm tentatively interested in trying to run it for a group of friends, but the rules are vague in a couple of critical areas (this review covers most of the things I noticed), and the example of play at the end of the book is heavily elided. I'm the kind of person who needs specific examples of what it actually looks like to run/play a game. Rules are great and all, but I'm constantly going, "Ok, but how does that work in actual play?"

    MCS is both new and a niche game, so there are understandably not a lot of resources. On top of that, I have ADHD and have trouble tolerating podcasts and videos, especially for learning and absorbing information. It's text or nothing.

    Help?

    I have attempted to GM a total of 3 times - twice in person (Burning Wheel and Torchbearer) and once PbP (Apocalypse World) - and all three times felt like I was trying to carry an armload of tennis balls without dropping any, while also trying to pull out and present the correct tennis balls at the correct times. It was stressful and awkward and not fun, and yet for some reason I keep thinking it might be fun next time.

    I have some bad news about GMing. Though it does get a little easier if you keep your list of guide moves and the monster around for reference... and copies of all your player sheets.

    The deal with segment clocks is that you set them based on how complicated things are looking to be at the start of the segment. If somebody cuts the Gordian knot and there's nothing left, you can just collapse the remaining clock (as long as there are at least three segments full). As far as unsuccessful segment clocks go, they're a price to pay on a failure or a mixed success whenever it seems appropriate (that you've wasted time or supplies).

    Dunno what else to say, I don't have a complete "steps to GM" guide ready to paste in - just share what you're having trouble understanding, and I'll do my best?

    Glazius on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    Skimming that review, seems like the GM is very focused on RAW, but honestly in the PBTA and FITD games I’ve played you really just have to let narrative trump RAW and run with things

    Inquisitor on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    Calica wrote: »
    So, Monster Care Squad. I'm tentatively interested in trying to run it for a group of friends, but the rules are vague in a couple of critical areas (this review covers most of the things I noticed), and the example of play at the end of the book is heavily elided. I'm the kind of person who needs specific examples of what it actually looks like to run/play a game. Rules are great and all, but I'm constantly going, "Ok, but how does that work in actual play?"

    MCS is both new and a niche game, so there are understandably not a lot of resources. On top of that, I have ADHD and have trouble tolerating podcasts and videos, especially for learning and absorbing information. It's text or nothing.

    Help?

    I have attempted to GM a total of 3 times - twice in person (Burning Wheel and Torchbearer) and once PbP (Apocalypse World) - and all three times felt like I was trying to carry an armload of tennis balls without dropping any, while also trying to pull out and present the correct tennis balls at the correct times. It was stressful and awkward and not fun, and yet for some reason I keep thinking it might be fun next time.
    Wow, that's a good review. His analysis of the book is spot on! It really puts it in perspective why I was so confused by the Moves section. It's not just me!

    There's just not a lot of content out there, let alone written.

    You may want to pick up https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/360803 for a fan-made adventure with a more fleshed out town. It may give you some more guidance in the kind of detail you can prepare beforehand.

    I only found two groups playing it live. Neither one of them is particularly good.
    https://shufflequest.libsyn.com/bonus-episode-monster-care-squad-pt-1 (language warning: the DM drops a lot of F-bombs)
    https://brokensunrpg.com/offseason-2-monster-care-squad-capyburrowl/

    Like Inq says these things shouldn't be treated as RAW like you would a board game. Especially a narrative game like MCS needs players who want to imagine the world with you*. You can't play this game with a bunch of grognards looking at the GM going "well, you're the story teller, tell us a story then". You need to work together extensively and flesh out the world together. I think even setting aside time to just workshop areas, shops and NPCs between sessions.

    Look at the tennis balls and see what you need to off-load to your players. I am a big fan of the Acquisitions Incorporated DnD book because it is very much a "GM like Jerry"-book. You can ignore everything in the book except for the company roles (like Hoardsperson Documancer, Decisionist and Cartographer) which are a gamified way to off-load tennis balls to your players. Like the Cartographer is a way to introduce quick travel and the Hoardsperson is keeping track of all money & treasure related stuff. The book contains 8 roles for different aspects of a TTRPG that a GM might not want to contend with on their own. Not all of them apply to MCS, but I hop you can look at the idea as a way to off-load some of the tasks from you as GM to your players.

    *edit: for instance in the review he wonders when exactly to mark a clock segment as "failed" and I definitely think this is something to do organically as you're playing. Your players might even go "well that didn't go according to plan" or "messed that up!" and those are just cues to mark a clock segment as failed. Players obviously need to cooperate with the GM on this: it shouldn't be something to quibble over.

    Aldo on
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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Working on a back up pc for 5e if my current weirdo dies in this arc of the empire invading us and us doing a Star Wars about that.

    Main pitch is a Kobold who was the demolitions expert/alchemist on a crew that hit mines for the magic mega material the empire’s invading for.

    Only for her to wind up just as much a refugee as anyone else when the crews latest ‘polite tax’ on a mine is interrupted by an Imperial take over.

    So far I only really have ‘All feats, no ASI to represent a civilian over an adventurer, read up all the various rules on making explosives and alchemy stuff’ but avoiding magic spell lists and finding a class for her is trickier.

    I mean, this feels like an Alchemist Artificer. Tone down the magic or explain/reflavor it as you need and you're there.

    Alternately, this could be a decent Rogue build, potentially using the Thief subclass.

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to get away from using magic in 5e.

    Yeah the goal is 100% no spell list.

    She's not an artificer she's a dirtbag loser.

    But you repeat yourself, hyuk hyuk hyuk

    JtgVX0H.png
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    BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

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    BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    As the DM of a group, I'm inclined to allow something, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on this:

    - We have a rotating cast of 4-5 PCs per session among 8 people. It's a bit Westmarch-like, one player (sometimes two) gets the proverbial spotlight and the adventure furthers their story, and the other characters, being friends, or tangentially interested in the adventure (due to an NPC, or merely the rewards), will come along to help the Point Person with their problem.
    - Sometimes an session ends mid-adventure, so we pick up where we left off on the next session. In such cases, the players do not wish to handwave when a character is unable to be present, and would rather postpone if one is unavailable.
    - Predictably, we have been having trouble recently organizing for a game session. This time, the postponement has reached a month, and will continue further, as one of the players will be going away for two/three weeks.
    - They would rather let one of the others "pilot" their character (to the best of their ability), because they're not the Point Person of the current adventure. The others are also willing to do so. The intent is to leave the big decisions/Story Beat Questions to the original Player, who should still be contactable through chat (they're assuming there aren't any such questions. Right now, they're correct: the character-pertinent stuff is the rewards at the end of the adventure, but I am willing to change that if it's better for everyone).
    - I was thinking, 1) no one has any problem with this arrangement, 2) everyone's acting in good faith, and 3) the game will get to continue, so I'm inclined to let it happen. I'll just need to confirm that the Owning player is okay if their character bites it in the game (though they're at the level where this isn't a problem).

    Yeah if everyone is OK with it, go ahead and keep playing.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

    I'm of the opinion that
    players mostly want to play their characters, and get less and less interested the more they have to control NPCs or deal with subsystems.

    You can absolutely tie their campaign progress to the encounter, but I would more make it si that their allies give them buffs or battlefield opportunities ("Toadmaster sees that you're bogged down fighting dretches and hops over, putting his huge, froggy bulk between you and the minor demons. 'Go get Zoggoth the Balor,' he croaks, 'I'll squish these little ones!' The Toadmaster's blessing gives you one free advantage on a roll of your choosing against Zoggoth.")

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    CruorCruor Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

    I'm of the opinion that
    players mostly want to play their characters, and get less and less interested the more they have to control NPCs or deal with subsystems.

    You can absolutely tie their campaign progress to the encounter, but I would more make it si that their allies give them buffs or battlefield opportunities ("Toadmaster sees that you're bogged down fighting dretches and hops over, putting his huge, froggy bulk between you and the minor demons. 'Go get Zoggoth the Balor,' he croaks, 'I'll squish these little ones!' The Toadmaster's blessing gives you one free advantage on a roll of your choosing against Zoggoth.")

    Building off of this:
    Make each of these ally jump-ins as cinematic as possible. Really reward the players for going out of their way to recruit these allies by giving the allies a cool thing to do. The cooler the allies are in battle, the better the players will feel for recruiting them.

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    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    Cruor wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

    I'm of the opinion that
    players mostly want to play their characters, and get less and less interested the more they have to control NPCs or deal with subsystems.

    You can absolutely tie their campaign progress to the encounter, but I would more make it si that their allies give them buffs or battlefield opportunities ("Toadmaster sees that you're bogged down fighting dretches and hops over, putting his huge, froggy bulk between you and the minor demons. 'Go get Zoggoth the Balor,' he croaks, 'I'll squish these little ones!' The Toadmaster's blessing gives you one free advantage on a roll of your choosing against Zoggoth.")

    Building off of this:
    Make each of these ally jump-ins as cinematic as possible. Really reward the players for going out of their way to recruit these allies by giving the allies a cool thing to do. The cooler the allies are in battle, the better the players will feel for recruiting them.
    Yeah I would basically treat each ally kind of like a Legendary Action

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    tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks OaklandRegistered User regular
    Working on a back up pc for 5e if my current weirdo dies in this arc of the empire invading us and us doing a Star Wars about that.

    Main pitch is a Kobold who was the demolitions expert/alchemist on a crew that hit mines for the magic mega material the empire’s invading for.

    Only for her to wind up just as much a refugee as anyone else when the crews latest ‘polite tax’ on a mine is interrupted by an Imperial take over.

    So far I only really have ‘All feats, no ASI to represent a civilian over an adventurer, read up all the various rules on making explosives and alchemy stuff’ but avoiding magic spell lists and finding a class for her is trickier.

    I mean, this feels like an Alchemist Artificer. Tone down the magic or explain/reflavor it as you need and you're there.

    Alternately, this could be a decent Rogue build, potentially using the Thief subclass.

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to get away from using magic in 5e.

    Yeah the goal is 100% no spell list.

    She's not an artificer she's a dirtbag loser.

    I mean, the big problem you might run into with 5e, and/or D&D in general, is that after a couple levels it's basically not possible to play a loser character when you could single-handedly wipe out a small village, or at least a tavern. It's a system designed for heroes, after all.

    But if you're strict no-magic, Rogue is probably your best bet. High dex (to throw bombs) and int (to know how to make bombs), medium constitution (she can survive a bomb blowing up in her face a couple times) and strength (enough to throw a bomb away from them), lower charisma (they're a loser), dump wisdom (bombs are fun at inappropriate times!). The only other magic-less classes are Fighter, Barbarian, and Monk, and I'm not convinced any of those really work for what you're trying to do with the character.

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    DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    Delzhand wrote: »
    Cruor wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

    I'm of the opinion that
    players mostly want to play their characters, and get less and less interested the more they have to control NPCs or deal with subsystems.

    You can absolutely tie their campaign progress to the encounter, but I would more make it si that their allies give them buffs or battlefield opportunities ("Toadmaster sees that you're bogged down fighting dretches and hops over, putting his huge, froggy bulk between you and the minor demons. 'Go get Zoggoth the Balor,' he croaks, 'I'll squish these little ones!' The Toadmaster's blessing gives you one free advantage on a roll of your choosing against Zoggoth.")

    Building off of this:
    Make each of these ally jump-ins as cinematic as possible. Really reward the players for going out of their way to recruit these allies by giving the allies a cool thing to do. The cooler the allies are in battle, the better the players will feel for recruiting them.
    Yeah I would basically treat each ally kind of like a Legendary Action
    Structure it a bit like how a video game where you acquire allies would do it, where you set it up so that each encounter has one of their allies show up for a couple rounds and then bounces as the characters move on. Players also don't need control of an NPC to have it feel like a big deal, and you don't need to fully kit them out with spell and abilities if they're there for a short amount of time. Hell, you don't even have to do math, just have them drop in and take out a couple of minions, or block a harmful spell, or open up a path.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    Working on a back up pc for 5e if my current weirdo dies in this arc of the empire invading us and us doing a Star Wars about that.

    Main pitch is a Kobold who was the demolitions expert/alchemist on a crew that hit mines for the magic mega material the empire’s invading for.

    Only for her to wind up just as much a refugee as anyone else when the crews latest ‘polite tax’ on a mine is interrupted by an Imperial take over.

    So far I only really have ‘All feats, no ASI to represent a civilian over an adventurer, read up all the various rules on making explosives and alchemy stuff’ but avoiding magic spell lists and finding a class for her is trickier.

    I mean, this feels like an Alchemist Artificer. Tone down the magic or explain/reflavor it as you need and you're there.

    Alternately, this could be a decent Rogue build, potentially using the Thief subclass.

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to get away from using magic in 5e.

    Yeah the goal is 100% no spell list.

    She's not an artificer she's a dirtbag loser.

    I mean, the big problem you might run into with 5e, and/or D&D in general, is that after a couple levels it's basically not possible to play a loser character when you could single-handedly wipe out a small village, or at least a tavern. It's a system designed for heroes, after all.

    But if you're strict no-magic, Rogue is probably your best bet. High dex (to throw bombs) and int (to know how to make bombs), medium constitution (she can survive a bomb blowing up in her face a couple times) and strength (enough to throw a bomb away from them), lower charisma (they're a loser), dump wisdom (bombs are fun at inappropriate times!). The only other magic-less classes are Fighter, Barbarian, and Monk, and I'm not convinced any of those really work for what you're trying to do with the character.

    Yeah, I think (because my GM is pretty down for homebrew stuff) I’ll probably work on a rogue archetype. Some sort of crew leader or demolitionist.

    All I’ve really got for that so far is the ability to use your reaction to grant an ally your cunning action.

    Albino Bunny on
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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    One of the things I really don't love about 5th is that it felt like they took the "everyone's a wizard" a lot too seriously while sticking with old school magic/spellcasting so now it's almost (almost) difficult to avoid spellcasting if you wanna do anything fancier than, like, Battlemaster fighter (I think there's monks that get some cool tricks without being spells). But almost every class can get spells.

    Which is neat! But I hate 5th's spellcasting (and 3.x as well, fwiw), so it's less fun.

    Which is why warlock or paladin are my go to casters in 5th

    Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
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    Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    Yesterday me and my party were stopping by an oasis on route to an abandoned temple of a lawful good sun god when I noticed the DM really started using the word "cactuses" strangely. Like, he wasn't emphasizing it, but it just kept repeating; which I directly told the group, adding "we're about to get ambushed by fucking cactus people"

    lo and behold night draws near and the trigger-happy warlock-sorcerer sees one of the cactuses move. He fully blasts it and blows it apart and we all feel a wave of sadness wash over us

    The cactuses surround us and the cleric takes out her holy symbol, the one belonging to the sun god, to cast her divine blessing - and the cactuses bow down before it. Turns out these are good cactuses (cactusees? cactii? cactur?), barely intelligent but very much sentient who protect people on the road and worship the sun god.

    we felt so bad that we spent our one 300 gold revivify diamond to bring the cactus we 'sploded back to life. It reformed Kintsugi like with gold cracks where its pieces healed. We then gifted it the cleric's holy chain and put one of our old sleeping bags on its back as a cape

    Thus was born the legend of Cactus Christ

    Indie Winter on
    wY6K6Jb.gif
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    DJ Eebs wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    Cruor wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    RPG thread, I require an opinion on something for the game I am running. If you are one of my players, please do not click the spoiler:
    Ok so after many sessions my players are gathering allies in the Feywild that will help them get back home. This includes each one giving the players a boon in the form of a magic item. They need at least 4, but can get up to 11. Obviously I don't expect (or want) them to spend a year in real time gathering all 11. The reason for the number though, is that demons are invading the Feywild, and when they get back to their base with their allies, a small army of demons with a demonic lieutenant bars their way to where they need to go.

    My question, should I make this a mini-game, where some forces and their allies are arrayed on a board and they have to fight off the demons ala Risk but with special abilities, or should I just have their allies do a big fight, opening the way for the party to get to the lieutenant, with the challenge being greater if they have less allies? I think either would be fun, but the mini-game might be frustrating and slow gameplay down? I'm not sure if it'll be fun, or annoying

    I'm of the opinion that
    players mostly want to play their characters, and get less and less interested the more they have to control NPCs or deal with subsystems.

    You can absolutely tie their campaign progress to the encounter, but I would more make it si that their allies give them buffs or battlefield opportunities ("Toadmaster sees that you're bogged down fighting dretches and hops over, putting his huge, froggy bulk between you and the minor demons. 'Go get Zoggoth the Balor,' he croaks, 'I'll squish these little ones!' The Toadmaster's blessing gives you one free advantage on a roll of your choosing against Zoggoth.")

    Building off of this:
    Make each of these ally jump-ins as cinematic as possible. Really reward the players for going out of their way to recruit these allies by giving the allies a cool thing to do. The cooler the allies are in battle, the better the players will feel for recruiting them.
    Yeah I would basically treat each ally kind of like a Legendary Action
    Structure it a bit like how a video game where you acquire allies would do it, where you set it up so that each encounter has one of their allies show up for a couple rounds and then bounces as the characters move on. Players also don't need control of an NPC to have it feel like a big deal, and you don't need to fully kit them out with spell and abilities if they're there for a short amount of time. Hell, you don't even have to do math, just have them drop in and take out a couple of minions, or block a harmful spell, or open up a path.

    In my Starfinder game, when they attacked their own corporate tower to save the galaxy, there was a session where I
    gave them a list of every NPC that they had interacted with over the 9 level campaign thusfar, and said that they could call in favors and make a plan where they weren't alone when they took on the Eldtritch Abomination cult, mercenaries, and corporate security. One of the players compared it to Mass Effect 3, which pissed me off, since I intended it to be more like Mass Effect 2's Suicide Mission (how dare she compare my game to the right video game series, but one sequel removed???). They had a pop star friend do a flash concert in the plaza in front of the building to distract the security while they snuck in, and their on-air rivals showed up (at their behest because of some great social skill rolls) demanding a rematch and scuffling with both the bouncers and the mercs.

    I also had two "meanwhile" sessions where the players ran a team of hitters from the local drow organized crime cartel that they convinced the Matriarch's daughter to send to hit a different objective in the sub-basement. This allowed the players to experiment with new races and character builds that they hadn't tried before. Not all players like to switch gears like that, but I knew a majority of my players would live up to the challenge.

    I like the idea of the NPC helpers being portrayed as a one-use special ability (represented by an index card or something) that the players can use in a massed battle to take out a goon or two and provide some other bonus, but I'm afraid that some teams would just hold onto their cards until the final boss. If you need to, set a "1 card per encounter" rule, where if the players don't use it, you'll draw one randomly to intervene in round 3 of the battle because the NPCs will respond to calls for help, but also are doing their own thing. Then they recharge (perhaps with lesser effects) for the boss battle.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    One of the things I really don't love about 5th is that it felt like they took the "everyone's a wizard" a lot too seriously while sticking with old school magic/spellcasting so now it's almost (almost) difficult to avoid spellcasting if you wanna do anything fancier than, like, Battlemaster fighter (I think there's monks that get some cool tricks without being spells). But almost every class can get spells.

    Which is neat! But I hate 5th's spellcasting (and 3.x as well, fwiw), so it's less fun.

    Which is why warlock or paladin are my go to casters in 5th

    Personally I find it very funny that they took all the criticism of 4E and just went, "But what if we made it Vancian, would you like it then?"

    Even funnier that the answer seems to have been a resounding yes.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    One of the things I really don't love about 5th is that it felt like they took the "everyone's a wizard" a lot too seriously while sticking with old school magic/spellcasting so now it's almost (almost) difficult to avoid spellcasting if you wanna do anything fancier than, like, Battlemaster fighter (I think there's monks that get some cool tricks without being spells). But almost every class can get spells.

    Which is neat! But I hate 5th's spellcasting (and 3.x as well, fwiw), so it's less fun.

    Which is why warlock or paladin are my go to casters in 5th

    Personally I find it very funny that they took all the criticism of 4E and just went, "But what if we made it Vancian, would you like it then?"

    Even funnier that the answer seems to have been a resounding yes.

    There's something to be said about 5E's "back to basics" approach cementing D&D's status as Babby's First RPG. And I also appreciate that they didn't do the Basic/AD&D split again.

    That said, 5E is very much not my jam. If I want to go back to basics, I've got Mörk Borg right here. And for all the bloat and tone deafness of 4E, it was a really solid system at its core, to the point that the Gamma World spinoff that only got the core box and two supplements is one of my favorite games; I ran two full 10 level campaigns to conclusion in that system, and the players still talk about them to this day.

    I haven't played 5E outside of Solasta, and it seems...fine. Just not my thing. But kudos on getting new people into the hobby like gangbusters.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    5e really got to take advantage of both grognards who hated 4e and the fact that the ‘D&D is every common fantasy trope’ factor for people who are new to systems IMO.

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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    speaking of Gamma World, my white whale of running a campaign set in what used to be my tri-county area is coming along.

    and by that I mean, with the help of Google streetview, I am turning this old driving map of Pennsylvania into a scrappy map of The Shit, which is how the inhabitants refer to the world outside safe walls.

    I've got two different pencils, three pens, two markers, and a lot of post-it notes.

    I just added to it today because I drove past a giant greenhouse/plant store and was like "oh shit, something definitely lives there."

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    captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    speaking of Gamma World, my white whale of running a campaign set in what used to be my tri-county area is coming along.

    and by that I mean, with the help of Google streetview, I am turning this old driving map of Pennsylvania into a scrappy map of The Shit, which is how the inhabitants refer to the world outside safe walls.

    I've got two different pencils, three pens, two markers, and a lot of post-it notes.

    I just added to it today because I drove past a giant greenhouse/plant store and was like "oh shit, something definitely lives there."

    What sort of driving map? I'd like to get something like that for my locality. Your typical googlemap these days has too much detail.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    speaking of Gamma World, my white whale of running a campaign set in what used to be my tri-county area is coming along.

    and by that I mean, with the help of Google streetview, I am turning this old driving map of Pennsylvania into a scrappy map of The Shit, which is how the inhabitants refer to the world outside safe walls.

    I've got two different pencils, three pens, two markers, and a lot of post-it notes.

    I just added to it today because I drove past a giant greenhouse/plant store and was like "oh shit, something definitely lives there."

    I used to be the night security supervisor in a highly recognizable brutalist architecture low income housing block in Minneapolis, with all sorts of different immigrant populations. In my second Gamma World campaign, the players were a noble house in that complex, where all sorts of local warlords had set themselves up as mythological deities from their various cultures. The first campaign revolved around the PCs starting as expendable shock troopers of the Duluth Vampire Nazis (their faction name was "Eisenreich," but they were Duluth Vampire Nazis).

    Post-apocolypting your town can be fun!

    Dracomicron on
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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    captaink wrote: »
    speaking of Gamma World, my white whale of running a campaign set in what used to be my tri-county area is coming along.

    and by that I mean, with the help of Google streetview, I am turning this old driving map of Pennsylvania into a scrappy map of The Shit, which is how the inhabitants refer to the world outside safe walls.

    I've got two different pencils, three pens, two markers, and a lot of post-it notes.

    I just added to it today because I drove past a giant greenhouse/plant store and was like "oh shit, something definitely lives there."

    What sort of driving map? I'd like to get something like that for my locality. Your typical googlemap these days has too much detail.

    Like this one except it's just PA. I found it in my mom's car after she gave it to me, so it's all weathered and shit, it's perfect.
    You should be able to find them in like, gas stations, or a Wawa/Sheetz perhaps

    it's good because I could spread it out on the table and they'll have to make their own routes to get to places.

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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    I also see them often in 2nd hand book stores and there was always a stand at flea markets. In case you want Dutch maps of random stuff (mostly cities), nearly all of it is available to the public in digital formats https://beeldbank.cultureelerfgoed.nl/rce-mediabank/?fq[]=search_s_collection:"Kaarten"&sort=order_s_objectnummer asc&mode=gallery&view=horizontal&page=1&reverse=0&filterAction for instance.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    One of the things I really don't love about 5th is that it felt like they took the "everyone's a wizard" a lot too seriously while sticking with old school magic/spellcasting so now it's almost (almost) difficult to avoid spellcasting if you wanna do anything fancier than, like, Battlemaster fighter (I think there's monks that get some cool tricks without being spells). But almost every class can get spells.

    Which is neat! But I hate 5th's spellcasting (and 3.x as well, fwiw), so it's less fun.

    Which is why warlock or paladin are my go to casters in 5th

    Personally I find it very funny that they took all the criticism of 4E and just went, "But what if we made it Vancian, would you like it then?"

    Even funnier that the answer seems to have been a resounding yes.

    There's something to be said about 5E's "back to basics" approach cementing D&D's status as Babby's First RPG. And I also appreciate that they didn't do the Basic/AD&D split again.

    That said, 5E is very much not my jam. If I want to go back to basics, I've got Mörk Borg right here. And for all the bloat and tone deafness of 4E, it was a really solid system at its core, to the point that the Gamma World spinoff that only got the core box and two supplements is one of my favorite games; I ran two full 10 level campaigns to conclusion in that system, and the players still talk about them to this day.

    I haven't played 5E outside of Solasta, and it seems...fine. Just not my thing. But kudos on getting new people into the hobby like gangbusters.

    I think a well planned and executed Basic and Advanced split could actually be pretty good for modern D&D.

    By which I mean for a hypothetical sixth edition, because part of being well planned and executed involves your basic edition coming out before you advanced edition does, something they fucked up with 4E already.

    I'd set up the basic set as being more designed characters, in some ways closer to a playbook than a traditional D&D character - still with a variety of choices, but choices that clearly and logically build on one another, with less trap options and stuff like that. Do a few for each class, maybe spread them across a couple different books/boxes, one playing off the classic stereotype (halfling thief, orc berserker, etc) and a couple more unusual ones. Do a more regimented feat/ability score increase progression, rather than the options provided in 5E, that sort of thing.

    And then with advanced feel free to make things all the more complicated - break down race into its component parts, provide additional options everywhere, add in multi-classing, all of it. Have it roughly balanced to the same level as the basic game (and have the ability to recreate a character from the base game or take a character built with the basic system and switch them over into doing more advanced stuff mid-campaign), but probably with higher highs and lower lows due to optimization or lack thereof.

    Essentially it's a way of having your cake and eating it too.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I think the main problem with Basic/Advanced originally was that it set up competition with itself. You were either playing Basic D&D or AD&D and they weren't super compatible. Sometimes people graduated from Basic to AD&D, but the existence of both kinda confused new players.

    The problem with doing a 6E split is that, if the advanced options are in the core book, then they're going to be considered core options. If they're not in the core book, then you get a higher barrier to entry for people to get more into the game. And then it's up in the air as to which you'd use for Adventure League.

    Yeah I dunno.

This discussion has been closed.