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

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  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Arthil wrote: »
    Only a Circle of the Moon Druid can pull that off, is the thing. All other druids cap out at CR2 creatures.

    Dude polar bear hitpoints ain't nothing to fuck with either. 42 isn't a ton but most creatures aren't going to clear that in a round and being able to run call lightning with a 16 con, war caster (because why the fuck wouldn't you), and, effectively a 42 hit point damage shield that gives you two attacks one of which is a greatsword ain't too shabby at any level.

    Like even I, in my reliable defenses of 5e, will say... druids put the donkey in redonkulous.

    To be fair, this is probably the least powerful druid incarnation since what, ever? I don't remember them at 2nd or 4th, but AD&D druids got low level spellcasters as followers, which was pretty beastly.

    3.5 druids were basically unkillable combat monsters with access to a full spell list that put wizards and clerics to shame.

    Small note, 3.x druids missed some pretty important spells on their lists, 3.0 more than 3.5. They had some really strong spells but, for example, had no way of shielding themselves against Death magic and effects. Granted, they could do most of the important stuff and had a few spells that were just flat out crazy in the right situation.

    3.0 Druids were really good if they knew a situation was coming up or just got lucky with spell selection. The flip side was it was easy to be utterly useless if you guessed wrong and had spells that did nothing in the current environment. In a way they were like ultra-wizards. Ultra-wizards who always had a bad ass pet to offset the whole squishy thing.

    3.5 Druids were a great example of game designers twisting too many knobs at once. They took that ultra-wizard spell list and then slathered spontaneous casting on top of it. Now in 3.0 that might have been alright as Summon's were bad and Summon Nature's Ally was especially bad. However at some point they "fixed" the summon lists and buffed SNA even more than Summon Monster. At the drop of a hat a druid could turn a highly situational spell for the wrong situation into a wall of hit points. If they were in that situation they could often just end an encounter with the spell instead. This removed a huge limitation from them. Additionally they messed with some class abilities, essentially deciding that druids should always have like +6 natural armor after 13th and I seem to recall they changed polymorph/shape change rules in a way that was a big boost as well. Druid's were a basic class that I had a real hard time justifying any Prestige class for. They were just that good.

    Druid's pre 3rd were, uh, odd. They were generally okay in what they could do with spells, combat and abilities and had a very generous XP chart early on but hit that whole "Hierarchical Structure" phase where leveling was an adventure in itself that involve murdering a fellow druid. Was weird.

    4th Druids were generally...okay? The controller version was alright though it took some finesse to get there and had a whole trap subclass. The Essentials version with the pet was....really boring to play. Mechanically it was fine-ish but oh boy does it make the Essentials Knight look like it has so many choices in play.

    For anyone not versed in 3.5:

    The thing with Druids in 3.5 is that you were a full caster with access to a lot of high power wizard spells, which was broken enough in that edition, but you also had heals a-plenty. You then got a 3/4th BAB progression and medium armor proficiency (which is just as good as heavy armor, due to Mithril crafting materials). At this point you're basically an arguably better cleric than the cleric is. But wait, there's more!

    Then you get an animal companion! There's lots of options, but the best one is normally a velociraptor, which will generally deal more damage/have more hp/higher AC/move faster than your fighter at every level of the game. It also has the Pounce ability, which lets you make a full attack on a charge (basically doubling or tripling your damage output). But wait, there's more!

    Then you get wildshape! This lets you turn into a animal, which replaces your STR/DEX/CON with beefy animal ability scores, lets you keep your mental scores, gives you Pounce on most animals (again making you a better fighter than a fighter), and for whatever fucking reason it also heals you. But wait, there's more!

    At level six you get access to the Natural Spell feat! This means you can now cast spells in animal form, and never have to stop being an animal. Ever. For any reason. Did you roll 3's for your STR/DEX/CON? Just live out your life as a dire bear with 33STR. But wait, there's more!

    Summon Nature's Ally let's you replace any spell you have prepared with a summon spell! Did I mention that you can turn into a velociraptor while having a pet velociraptor? Now you can summon them, too! Need to fly somewhere? Who needs high level spell slots, just summon a hippogryph to carry you! Have your friends taken damage, but you don't want to waste spell slots on them? Summon a unicorn to cast heals for you!

    There's probably some other stuff I'm missing. Spells in 3.5 were crazy, especially because you could pump your save DCs way up into the high 20s, and most monsters had bad will saves.

    Generally you're slightly overestimating the value of Pounce IME and didn't mention Grapple at all. It isn't hard for a PC druid to completely shut down an equal CR NPC villain by turning into a bear and hugging him. If they're a squishy they probably can't win the grapple check and if they're a fighter, well they're now doing unarmed damage or spending most of the turn trying to undo the status you just gave them. That doesn't end well if anybody else is around, like your party. I do lean towards disable and let my minions (i.e. Fighters, non-druids) deal damage style though.

    Also they don't get that many high level wizard-esque spells. They can pretend a fair amount with Summon Nature's Ally have a few fey in the list and some of the druid spells are primo. I'm looking at you Sunburst/Sunbeam. Of course, the ONE high level wizard spell is the only one that ever fucking matters: Shapechange. Sure, you can already become a Treant but how about a Pit Fiend or Balor or Solar? They're cool, right? Through the wonder of Share Spell, why only bring one Pit Fiend to the fight when instead you can bring TWO Pit Fiends? They're all good Pit Fiends Brent.

    Edit: Re: Grapple: A 15th level Druid who turns into a Treant Grapples as if they were a 20th level fighter with 28 Strength. A 8th level druid grapples at +18 or a 12th level 22 strength fighter. Those are both with zero investment on the Druid's part. No feats or anything, just turning into a bad ass combat form that incidentally likes giving hugs.

    In my games there was normally a pretty large number of dudes to fight. If you're normally just fighting giants single monsters, yeah pounce is pretty meh. But if you're routinely moving around and not getting full attacks, that shit really hurts your DPS. I had a game where I got so pissed off over it that I took the leadership feat just to make a wizard that would cast Telekinesis on me, so I could get my full attacks (leadership is such fun/incredibly broken feat).

    I never found grappling to be terribly useful when you can just Baleful Polymorph someone into a salmon and eat them.

    Elvenshae
  • NyhtNyht Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    Last week the druid decided to Awaken a mushroom they found. Awaken gives a beast or plant, with Int less than 3, tan intelligence of 10 and the ability to speak and such.

    My current players are a paladin/bard, a sorcerer, a monk/rogue, and a Druid. Nothing int-based.

    The mushroom is now the smartest member of the party. That his maker managed to crit fail a produce flame attack and set his pants on fire didn't help things.

    We now have a mushroom NPC in the depths of an existential crisis because he has seen his god and his god is dumb.

    It'll balance out when the mushroom comes to meet their true god, Zuggtmoy ...

    And then the Druid can live with knowing he created their own downfall when he walks in with the little mushroom opening a portal to her domain ...

    SleepSmrtniknever die
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Also if you consider that one mushroom is actually just part of a larger organism, it really makes you wonder what exactly your druid has wrought. Is there now an entire forest that is basically sentient, and you're just walking around with its detached, talking penis?

    Steelhawkoverride367NyhtElvenshaeSmrtnikAnialosMoridin889never die
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Nyht wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Healing spirit is a problem because it levels up hilariously. At a level 2 cast it’s not really an issue as it competes directly and reasonably with comparable spells that comepeting healers get for out of combat healing. (PoH heals 52 SH 35. It’s at lvl 4+ thinks get ridiculousness

    It is possible for there to be intra-spell balance issues while also there not being a problem with other intra-spell balance.

    Except it's also not a problem. See how this works?

    Also
    Sleep wrote: »
    I mean I'll just say that Druids are kinda outright broken. They kinda do everything better than everyone as a baseline and then get a chance to focus on a broad aspect that they will absolutely dominate the table on.

    Healing spirit on rangers? Not that bad

    Healing spirit on druids? Kinda broken, but no more broken than the rest of druid

    Level 2 Moon Druids can be kind of strong but that wanes after level 4 or so. Outside of that I guess I just think you're wrong but that's fine. We've been arguing this whole time about difference of opinions being presented as facts.

    The way in which druid hit points work makes the druid like the nastiest tank because they can constantly just not give a fuck about damage. Wild shape into a bear eat all its hit points, still have your full druid hit point pool... wild shape into the same bear form boom full bear hit points again. Even better: summon bears, bear form, eat through 4 bears worth of HP... bear form again.

    It's pretty fuckin strong as a combo

    Druids can eventually wildshape infinitely while also popping in an out of form as a bonus action. This means that you can turn into a 124HP Mammoth as a bonus action, move and attack, switch back to Druid form on your next turn to move and cast a spell, and then go back to 124HP on the following turn. A monster literally has to do 125 damage a round to harm a druid.

    Luckily I've yet to have a player try that. Everyone always goes Circle for some reason.

    *edit: Also, the druid spell list is fucking boss. Entangle literally never stops being relevant; pick up Sharpshooter and start throwing Javelins with advantage at 120ft.

    To be fair, isn't infinite wildshape at level 20? A character should be pretty outstanding at level 20.

    joshgotroNyht
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    infinite wildshape isn't as big of an issue as it seems, it just means most combatants won't be able to kill a druid by throwing pure damage at them

    they're super vulnerable to the power word spells, however

    Nyht
  • Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    Also if you consider that one mushroom is actually just part of a larger organism, it really makes you wonder what exactly your druid has wrought. Is there now an entire forest that is basically sentient, and you're just walking around with its detached, talking penis?

    these are the deep existential questions we should all strive to answer in our short time on earth tbh

    Elvenshae
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    infinite wildshape isn't as big of an issue as it seems, it just means most combatants won't be able to kill a druid by throwing pure damage at them

    they're super vulnerable to the power word spells, however

    More than anything else?

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Tube wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Nyht wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Healing spirit is a problem because it levels up hilariously. At a level 2 cast it’s not really an issue as it competes directly and reasonably with comparable spells that comepeting healers get for out of combat healing. (PoH heals 52 SH 35. It’s at lvl 4+ thinks get ridiculousness

    It is possible for there to be intra-spell balance issues while also there not being a problem with other intra-spell balance.

    Except it's also not a problem. See how this works?

    Also
    Sleep wrote: »
    I mean I'll just say that Druids are kinda outright broken. They kinda do everything better than everyone as a baseline and then get a chance to focus on a broad aspect that they will absolutely dominate the table on.

    Healing spirit on rangers? Not that bad

    Healing spirit on druids? Kinda broken, but no more broken than the rest of druid

    Level 2 Moon Druids can be kind of strong but that wanes after level 4 or so. Outside of that I guess I just think you're wrong but that's fine. We've been arguing this whole time about difference of opinions being presented as facts.

    The way in which druid hit points work makes the druid like the nastiest tank because they can constantly just not give a fuck about damage. Wild shape into a bear eat all its hit points, still have your full druid hit point pool... wild shape into the same bear form boom full bear hit points again. Even better: summon bears, bear form, eat through 4 bears worth of HP... bear form again.

    It's pretty fuckin strong as a combo

    Druids can eventually wildshape infinitely while also popping in an out of form as a bonus action. This means that you can turn into a 124HP Mammoth as a bonus action, move and attack, switch back to Druid form on your next turn to move and cast a spell, and then go back to 124HP on the following turn. A monster literally has to do 125 damage a round to harm a druid.

    Luckily I've yet to have a player try that. Everyone always goes Circle for some reason.

    *edit: Also, the druid spell list is fucking boss. Entangle literally never stops being relevant; pick up Sharpshooter and start throwing Javelins with advantage at 120ft.

    To be fair, isn't infinite wildshape at level 20? A character should be pretty outstanding at level 20.

    Eh they effectively get there way sooner because wild shape regens on short rest, but lasts for hours.

    It isn't that bad because luckily actual number of uses doesn't go up till 20th level. Which means they can't often pull the combo described up there where they consistently bounce between forms, but by about 10th level they can effectively spend all day every day as an animal, and can throw up 2 notable damage screens between each short rest.

    Carnarvon
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    Tube wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Nyht wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Healing spirit is a problem because it levels up hilariously. At a level 2 cast it’s not really an issue as it competes directly and reasonably with comparable spells that comepeting healers get for out of combat healing. (PoH heals 52 SH 35. It’s at lvl 4+ thinks get ridiculousness

    It is possible for there to be intra-spell balance issues while also there not being a problem with other intra-spell balance.

    Except it's also not a problem. See how this works?

    Also
    Sleep wrote: »
    I mean I'll just say that Druids are kinda outright broken. They kinda do everything better than everyone as a baseline and then get a chance to focus on a broad aspect that they will absolutely dominate the table on.

    Healing spirit on rangers? Not that bad

    Healing spirit on druids? Kinda broken, but no more broken than the rest of druid

    Level 2 Moon Druids can be kind of strong but that wanes after level 4 or so. Outside of that I guess I just think you're wrong but that's fine. We've been arguing this whole time about difference of opinions being presented as facts.

    The way in which druid hit points work makes the druid like the nastiest tank because they can constantly just not give a fuck about damage. Wild shape into a bear eat all its hit points, still have your full druid hit point pool... wild shape into the same bear form boom full bear hit points again. Even better: summon bears, bear form, eat through 4 bears worth of HP... bear form again.

    It's pretty fuckin strong as a combo

    Druids can eventually wildshape infinitely while also popping in an out of form as a bonus action. This means that you can turn into a 124HP Mammoth as a bonus action, move and attack, switch back to Druid form on your next turn to move and cast a spell, and then go back to 124HP on the following turn. A monster literally has to do 125 damage a round to harm a druid.

    Luckily I've yet to have a player try that. Everyone always goes Circle for some reason.

    *edit: Also, the druid spell list is fucking boss. Entangle literally never stops being relevant; pick up Sharpshooter and start throwing Javelins with advantage at 120ft.

    To be fair, isn't infinite wildshape at level 20? A character should be pretty outstanding at level 20.

    It's not really a complaint so much as a notation. I tend to mostly throw HP damage at my players (fuck referencing spells, greatswords fo' lyfe), so it's kinda annoying when a player can *poof* into a full HP bear.

    Practically, if you're having a problem with overpowered characters at high level, it's really just a matter of throwing more balors at them.

    override367Sleep
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Kasyn wrote: »
    I mean, i guess one could say there's only one optimal way to do things

    but like... for example last night in the game I'm running the druid turned into a fish and led a hydra on a chase before jumping out of the water over the head of a yuan-ti, leading to the hydra attacking its handler by mistake

    I'm not sure where that action fits into the optimal action table?

    Here's another thing, and it requires a certain amount of buy-in from players, and is something that is really at odds with the way a lot of people - myself included! - approach games.

    You do not always have to take the optimal combat action.

    And this comes down to how robust of a character you have. I mean robust in the way to where you have a sense of how they will act, not just that they have some killer level of detail in their backstory. If you can get a sense of your character to the point where you, on a gut level, understand their instincts? That is what you owe to the game to follow, not necessarily the best possible combat action. Sometimes those things are in alignment! But sometimes they are not. I promise you - I fucking promise you - the game is significantly better when you become the type of player who can take those less than optimal actions because it means you're being true to your character. (And not crossing the line into behavior that is toxic and unfair to your fellow players or the DM.)

    I want to add on that this is vital in DMing as well. I basically never take optimal combat actions. To use a common example, yeah, you can have the goblins in the initial combat in the 5e starter set shoot an arrow, kite back, and bonus action hide every round, but you probably shouldn't.

    EDIT: Man I wish this thing didn't save drafts forever

    Xagar on
    SteelhawkSleep
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Tube wrote: »
    infinite wildshape isn't as big of an issue as it seems, it just means most combatants won't be able to kill a druid by throwing pure damage at them

    they're super vulnerable to the power word spells, however

    More than anything else?

    level 20 characters usually have more hitpoints than a druid's wildshape forms

    override367 on
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Tube wrote: »
    infinite wildshape isn't as big of an issue as it seems, it just means most combatants won't be able to kill a druid by throwing pure damage at them

    they're super vulnerable to the power word spells, however

    More than anything else?

    level 20 characters usually have more hitpoints than a druid's wildshape forms

    Oh, that makes sense. It was a genuine question by the way, I'm not very knowledgeable about these systems.

    Elvenshaeoverride367
  • ZomroZomro Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    Last week the druid decided to Awaken a mushroom they found. Awaken gives a beast or plant, with Int less than 3, tan intelligence of 10 and the ability to speak and such.

    My current players are a paladin/bard, a sorcerer, a monk/rogue, and a Druid. Nothing int-based.

    The mushroom is now the smartest member of the party. That his maker managed to crit fail a produce flame attack and set his pants on fire didn't help things.

    We now have a mushroom NPC in the depths of an existential crisis because he has seen his god and his god is dumb.

    Reading this post gave me a real Hitchhiker's Guide feeling in the best way. It's wonderfully absurd.

    webguy20Ken OSleepElvenshaesee317hlprmnkyKasynDarkPrimusNyhtSmrtniknever dieTynnan
  • A duck!A duck! Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Tube wrote: »
    Tube wrote: »
    infinite wildshape isn't as big of an issue as it seems, it just means most combatants won't be able to kill a druid by throwing pure damage at them

    they're super vulnerable to the power word spells, however

    More than anything else?

    level 20 characters usually have more hitpoints than a druid's wildshape forms

    Oh, that makes sense. It was a genuine question by the way, I'm not very knowledgeable about these systems.

    Yeah level 20 druid that just takes the average HP at level up will have 103 base HP, plus feats and Con bonus. So one with a 16 Con can potentially ignore Power Word Stun while they may be always susceptible in some wild shapes.

    Sleepoverride367Nyht
  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    Do you have examples of better systems than CR that do the same things in different systems?

    Yes. Two of my favorites are You Can Run and You Won't Die.

    You Can Run explicitly separates combat maneuverability from the narrative act of escaping to safety so that, for example, you can run from an adult red dragon without also being able to kite it to death with ranged weapons.

    You Won't Die makes player death an explicit risk from the player and decision by the GM, rather than a chance rock in the fog of probabilities. It sees several implementations, including but not limited to: systems for extended conflicts where no one is risking death at all, an explicit ability of players to pull out of a conflict and suffer consequences other than death, and damage as a fixed, known risk for players to consider.

    YCR and YWD both see full implementation in most Fate/Burning/Apocalypse/Dark Engine games, and I'd be glad to effortpost about the details if you're curious.

    JustTee
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    Do you have examples of better systems than CR that do the same things in different systems?

    Yes. Two of my favorites are You Can Run and You Won't Die.

    You Can Run explicitly separates combat maneuverability from the narrative act of escaping to safety so that, for example, you can run from an adult red dragon without also being able to kite it to death with ranged weapons.

    You Won't Die makes player death an explicit risk from the player and decision by the GM, rather than a chance rock in the fog of probabilities. It sees several implementations, including but not limited to: systems for extended conflicts where no one is risking death at all, an explicit ability of players to pull out of a conflict and suffer consequences other than death, and damage as a fixed, known risk for players to consider.

    YCR and YWD both see full implementation in most Fate/Burning/Apocalypse/Dark Engine games, and I'd be glad to effortpost about the details if you're curious.

    13th Age uses variants of both of these in a D&D like game. You can always run from a fight and everybody not dead dead will live but "A bad thing happens in the campaign at large" (A Campaign Loss). You also can't die die to anybody who isn't a named NPC. Obviously, stuff like dragons still count and such. They're like training wheels versions of those rules.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
    ElvenshaeJustTee
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    Do you have examples of better systems than CR that do the same things in different systems?

    Yes. Two of my favorites are You Can Run and You Won't Die.

    You Can Run explicitly separates combat maneuverability from the narrative act of escaping to safety so that, for example, you can run from an adult red dragon without also being able to kite it to death with ranged weapons.

    You Won't Die makes player death an explicit risk from the player and decision by the GM, rather than a chance rock in the fog of probabilities. It sees several implementations, including but not limited to: systems for extended conflicts where no one is risking death at all, an explicit ability of players to pull out of a conflict and suffer consequences other than death, and damage as a fixed, known risk for players to consider.

    YCR and YWD both see full implementation in most Fate/Burning/Apocalypse/Dark Engine games, and I'd be glad to effortpost about the details if you're curious.

    Can you go into some more detail about YCR? I'm having a hard time finding much on it out on the web, and I'm highly interested.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Kasyn wrote: »
    Glazius wrote: »
    Do you have examples of better systems than CR that do the same things in different systems?

    Yes. Two of my favorites are You Can Run and You Won't Die.

    You Can Run explicitly separates combat maneuverability from the narrative act of escaping to safety so that, for example, you can run from an adult red dragon without also being able to kite it to death with ranged weapons.

    You Won't Die makes player death an explicit risk from the player and decision by the GM, rather than a chance rock in the fog of probabilities. It sees several implementations, including but not limited to: systems for extended conflicts where no one is risking death at all, an explicit ability of players to pull out of a conflict and suffer consequences other than death, and damage as a fixed, known risk for players to consider.

    YCR and YWD both see full implementation in most Fate/Burning/Apocalypse/Dark Engine games, and I'd be glad to effortpost about the details if you're curious.

    Can you go into some more detail about YCR? I'm having a hard time finding much on it out on the web, and I'm highly interested.

    In Fate it works like this: at any time before be an attack roll you can declare that your character lost the fight, and narrate how that happened based on the current situation. So in a social fight maybe they lose their cool and storm out, in a physical fight they're tossed offscreen, etc. You are actually mechanically rewarded for doing this.

    Being taken out in Fate also doesn't mean "death" even when done by an opponent. It just means you're out of the fight. Sometimes that's because you're fine red mist, sometimes not.

    It's more narrative focused than D&D, but you could make something similar as a house rule for 5e with work.

    Phoenix-D on
    KasynSleepdiscriderElvenshaeJustTee
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    How does that compare to CR though? It's supposed to be a difficulty rating, is it just a number and if you're above it you can escape?

    Although I just realized it would be really helpful to indicate types of monster's default behavior towards defeated players: Goblins and Orcs will almost never kill players by default, for example, where as a golem will mindlessly keep hammering the wizard it's fighting until they're red slurry

    Something like "Goblin: Typically will loot items from defeated humanoids and then flee." "Orc: Will seek to enslave captured players. Will not finish off a wounded opponent while threats remain." "Crocodile: Kills downed prey if no threats remain. If other threats are present will drag the unconscious victim underwater and seek to drown them", or something?

    I actually just went over this with my curse of strahd DM, about the hags of bonegrinder mill, she wasn't sure how to handle the obviously lethal encounter because it just says what the hags are - not how they react to players who insist on a fight. This fight is not supposed to be a fight, as the party is level 3 when they approach the mill and the hags are Cr 7... each

    You have to turn to sources on the internet and secondary sources to learn that the hags should probably capture and humiliate the players, and would never efficiently kill them

    override367 on
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    That’s a really sound point! And I’m now going through my homemade system and giving every enemy a reaction on defeating an opponent, and party as a whole.

    If you listen close, you can hear me cracking my knuckles.

    As for hags, I think in general I’d have any pack of hags as cackling old lady’s with terrible power. They’d want to make a fighter feel weak, catch a rogue off guard, twist a wizard’s spell well before they actually kill them.

    Endless_Serpents on
    Smrtnik
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    How does that compare to CR though? It's supposed to be a difficulty rating, is it just a number and if you're above it you can escape?

    Although I just realized it would be really helpful to indicate types of monster's default behavior towards defeated players: Goblins and Orcs will almost never kill players by default, for example, where as a golem will mindlessly keep hammering the wizard it's fighting until they're red slurry

    Something like "Goblin: Typically will loot items from defeated humanoids and then flee." "Orc: Will seek to enslave captured players. Will not finish off a wounded opponent while threats remain." "Crocodile: Kills downed prey if no threats remain. If other threats are present will drag the unconscious victim underwater and seek to drown them", or something?

    I actually just went over this with my curse of strahd DM, about the hags of bonegrinder mill, she wasn't sure how to handle the obviously lethal encounter because it just says what the hags are - not how they react to players who insist on a fight. This fight is not supposed to be a fight, as the party is level 3 when they approach the mill and the hags are Cr 7... each

    You have to turn to sources on the internet and secondary sources to learn that the hags should probably capture and humiliate the players, and would never efficiently kill them

    It's not really a challenge system. It isn't a difficulty rating, so I'm not sure why it was brought up in reference to CR. Except maybe that it does build in more leeyway in how encounters go. Something that would be a TPK in D&D can end with the entire party defeated but not dead, for example. Without the GM having to play the opposition much differently.

  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    We hit 6th level in our Curse of Strahd last week. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow when I can try out Mantle of Majesty. Sadly I think we're done with the werewolves because using Command to make them "Sit" would have been too good.

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
    Elvenshaeoverride367never die
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    How does that compare to CR though? It's supposed to be a difficulty rating, is it just a number and if you're above it you can escape?

    Although I just realized it would be really helpful to indicate types of monster's default behavior towards defeated players: Goblins and Orcs will almost never kill players by default, for example, where as a golem will mindlessly keep hammering the wizard it's fighting until they're red slurry

    Something like "Goblin: Typically will loot items from defeated humanoids and then flee." "Orc: Will seek to enslave captured players. Will not finish off a wounded opponent while threats remain." "Crocodile: Kills downed prey if no threats remain. If other threats are present will drag the unconscious victim underwater and seek to drown them", or something?

    I actually just went over this with my curse of strahd DM, about the hags of bonegrinder mill, she wasn't sure how to handle the obviously lethal encounter because it just says what the hags are - not how they react to players who insist on a fight. This fight is not supposed to be a fight, as the party is level 3 when they approach the mill and the hags are Cr 7... each

    You have to turn to sources on the internet and secondary sources to learn that the hags should probably capture and humiliate the players, and would never efficiently kill them

    Think of it this way: Your player just got crit four times in a row by a couple of mud golems. He dropped to zero, got Healing Word'd, and he's now surrounded and has no way out.

    He has two options. Fight to the death, like you would in normal 5e rules, or simply state "I don't want to die here". If he chooses the latter, the DM decides some narrative reason for the character to be 1)Knocked out of the fight (got hit on the head), 2)Not be killed (one golem abducts him), and 3)Ramifications for failure (losing items/NPC dying). This means that your players are entirely in control of whether they die or not.

    The You Can Run thing is the same deal, but for the entire party. If your group is low on health/resources, and an Adult Red Dragon comes to munch on them, then the party can simply say "We're getting out of here" and they 'automatically' escape (but suffering consequences).

    What this has to do with CR, I've no idea.

    *edit: Regarding the Hags, remember that when you knock an NPC or PC to zero hit points, you can decide to knock them unconscious without killing them. If you ever get into a situation where the PCs are obviously going to die, consider knocking them out instead.

    Carnarvon on
    Sleep
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    It's certainly not a rule that you have to fight to the death, though. That's more like a - sometimes extremely so - baked-in player assumption that's been programmed in by years of games.

    I remember reading Tomb of Annihilation and a few of the encounters players could come across at a very early level basically said that the players could and should run or die. I was very iffy about allowing those to even happen in the first place, because I know that people come prepackaged with the idea that they're supposed to be able to kill everything, unless it's communicated to them in an extremely obvious way that they should flee.

    It's a fun thing to challenge, though, if you can find ways to do it that's healthy for the campaign. (Just like a lot of other assumptions and expectations that players artificially have, like I was talking about a few pages back with players expecting that they will be able to rest pretty much whenever they want.)

    Ivellius
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    One of the main reasons people don’t like to run instead of fighting to the death in D&D is that, almost universally, the monsters are better at running away than the party is. They can fly, are super fast, know the local area better, can walk through walls, aren’t a dwarf / halfling / gnome, etc., etc., etc., and so as the old joke goes, the PCs could run away, but they’d just die tired.

    JustTeeoverride367
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    There’s also the fact that, generally, a particular PC could escape by leaving the others behind.

    And then you’re the player who saved your own character’s life and left everyone else to die.

    That, of course, has a nontrivial social cost.

    JustTee
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    Today my party is likely finishing up an major story arc and entering Storm King's Thunder proper. I'm super nervous cause I have an ambitious session planned and have no idea how this is going to go! I can't talk about it much because several of my players read this thread, but I'll try to give a rundown of how it went afterward!

    ElvenshaeNyhtLindoverride367SmrtnikAustinP0027never die
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    There’s also the fact that, generally, a particular PC could escape by leaving the others behind.

    And then you’re the player who saved your own character’s life and left everyone else to die.

    That, of course, has a nontrivial social cost.

    Yea, so in 13th Age the rule specifically saves the party. I think that's an important distinction. If you're running D&D as Conan simulator it makes no sense at all. If you're running D&D as an elaborate board game or a story creation engine then it feels fine.

    It's also funny because telling players they can tap out at any time but the DM gets to fuck up the world as they choose ends up with players fighting tooth and nail to not run away. Clear evidence they understand the twisted hearts and cruel minds of your average DM.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
    Elvenshae
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    One of the main reasons people don’t like to run instead of fighting to the death in D&D is that, almost universally, the monsters are better at running away than the party is. They can fly, are super fast, know the local area better, can walk through walls, aren’t a dwarf / halfling / gnome, etc., etc., etc., and so as the old joke goes, the PCs could run away, but they’d just die tired.

    Disagree. One of the main reasons players don't like to run is that they are feral baboons who have no sense of narrative and the blood, sweat and tears that goes into crafting a delicious story. One that hinges on our heroes having that moment where they are beat down and learn to take the beating so that they and live to fight another day and come back stronger and more motivated to deal their mighty nemesis.

    Instead they will giggle and chortle and bumble their way into a TPK because they think that they're invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to them despite your repeated warnings and omens and hints to the contrary, shattering your carefully planned out narrative moment and leaving you with nothing but ashes to show for your efforts at entertaining these slavering animals. And then, AND THEN, they will have the temerity to get salty with you, so salty, about dying so ignominiously and having to end the campaign.

    ...Or is that just me?

    ElvenshaeAldowebguy20JustTeetinwhiskersKasynIvelliusAnialosMoridin889never die14357mildlymorbid
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    I find in certain systems and setting they can be a bit more in character about dying, but D&D for sure.

    I’ve only had a party all die once, and it was in very early Dungeon World (as DW has ways of avoiding death if you make a pact with capital D Death that I didn’t have at the time) and I just continued the campaign in the Underworld after they awoke on the Ferryman’s boat.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    One of the main reasons people don’t like to run instead of fighting to the death in D&D is that, almost universally, the monsters are better at running away than the party is. They can fly, are super fast, know the local area better, can walk through walls, aren’t a dwarf / halfling / gnome, etc., etc., etc., and so as the old joke goes, the PCs could run away, but they’d just die tired.

    Disagree. One of the main reasons players don't like to run is that they are feral baboons who have no sense of narrative and the blood, sweat and tears that goes into crafting a delicious story. One that hinges on our heroes having that moment where they are beat down and learn to take the beating so that they and live to fight another day and come back stronger and more motivated to deal their mighty nemesis.

    Instead they will giggle and chortle and bumble their way into a TPK because they think that they're invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to them despite your repeated warnings and omens and hints to the contrary, shattering your carefully planned out narrative moment and leaving you with nothing but ashes to show for your efforts at entertaining these slavering animals. And then, AND THEN, they will have the temerity to get salty with you, so salty, about dying so ignominiously and having to end the campaign.

    ...Or is that just me?

    Ever since my party saw the beastmaster's pet bird get devoured in, like, their fourth combat, they've been incredibly careful about avoiding potentially lethal or politically unwise situations. It's really weird comparing how they act after hearing so many stories of happy-go-lucky murder hobos for years. But the party healer kinda freaks out when there are civilians in play so that sword cuts the other way pretty hard.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Oh, you'd think they would learn wouldn't you? But they don't learn, do they? Or if they have learned, they learn only that a DM's tears and anguish are tasty and will do everything in their power to derail your story because they revel in that anguish. Because they are feral baboons. Probably with rabies. Yeah, rabid feral baboons. That's what players are. Rabid feral baboons. :)

    (I'm 90% joking here, you understand. Maybe 80%.....75% tops. On a good day, 60%)

    Elvenshaewebguy20JustTeeBursarAnialosMoridin889never die
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    How does that compare to CR though? It's supposed to be a difficulty rating, is it just a number and if you're above it you can escape?

    Although I just realized it would be really helpful to indicate types of monster's default behavior towards defeated players: Goblins and Orcs will almost never kill players by default, for example, where as a golem will mindlessly keep hammering the wizard it's fighting until they're red slurry

    Something like "Goblin: Typically will loot items from defeated humanoids and then flee." "Orc: Will seek to enslave captured players. Will not finish off a wounded opponent while threats remain." "Crocodile: Kills downed prey if no threats remain. If other threats are present will drag the unconscious victim underwater and seek to drown them", or something?

    I actually just went over this with my curse of strahd DM, about the hags of bonegrinder mill, she wasn't sure how to handle the obviously lethal encounter because it just says what the hags are - not how they react to players who insist on a fight. This fight is not supposed to be a fight, as the party is level 3 when they approach the mill and the hags are Cr 7... each

    You have to turn to sources on the internet and secondary sources to learn that the hags should probably capture and humiliate the players, and would never efficiently kill them

    Think of it this way: Your player just got crit four times in a row by a couple of mud golems. He dropped to zero, got Healing Word'd, and he's now surrounded and has no way out.

    He has two options. Fight to the death, like you would in normal 5e rules, or simply state "I don't want to die here". If he chooses the latter, the DM decides some narrative reason for the character to be 1)Knocked out of the fight (got hit on the head), 2)Not be killed (one golem abducts him), and 3)Ramifications for failure (losing items/NPC dying). This means that your players are entirely in control of whether they die or not.

    The You Can Run thing is the same deal, but for the entire party. If your group is low on health/resources, and an Adult Red Dragon comes to munch on them, then the party can simply say "We're getting out of here" and they 'automatically' escape (but suffering consequences).

    What this has to do with CR, I've no idea.

    *edit: Regarding the Hags, remember that when you knock an NPC or PC to zero hit points, you can decide to knock them unconscious without killing them. If you ever get into a situation where the PCs are obviously going to die, consider knocking them out instead.

    Ah okay

    but that's just deciding your campaign doesn't have player death and suspending the rules so players don't die (which to be clear is perfectly fine and just a matter of table preference), it doesn't really compare to CR in any way

    override367 on
    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Like the "I don't want to die here"/"you can run" tools are cool, but they don't seemingly have anything to do with encounter building guidelines.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 2018
    my players after a string of gruesome fatalities and in the most recent session literally devouring the bard in a drug fueled blood orgy for the glory of Dendar the Night Serpent at the behest of their yuan-ti captors I think are finally getting the idea about biting off more than they can chew

    the bard (player not character) volunteered since that was just a meat puppet that looked like her anyway, the hags got the real one in a cage, so next time it's off to baggy nanna's realm of nightmares to kill a night hag in her place of power and get the caged and slightly chubbier bard back

    the tabaxi guide who is her girlfriend is a blubbering incoherent mess though and really badly needs a vacation

    override367 on
    ElvenshaeIvelliusnever die
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Like the "I don't want to die here"/"you can run" tools are cool, but they don't seemingly have anything to do with encounter building guidelines.
    Yeah, other than acting as a kind of safety valve for misplanned encounters; they don’t do anything to help you avoid misplanning in the first place.

    Sleep
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Like the "I don't want to die here"/"you can run" tools are cool, but they don't seemingly have anything to do with encounter building guidelines.

    About the only way I'd say they do is you can push the top end of the envelope a bit more without being quite so much of an asshole since it doesn't translate to TPK if you screw up. It is still a bit of a jerk move but it probably won't be campaign ending.

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

    DevoutlyApatheticjoshgotrowebguy20SteelhawkElvenshaePowerpuppiesDarkPrimus
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Eh 4e still had similar encounter building problems (you could still fuck an encounter by making the situation unwinable), but monster design obfuscated it.

    Basically I could still create a situation where the party couldn't win an "on level" encounter simply by incorrectly formatting the fight map and features, or by too well synergizing enemy abilities.

    However monsters were designed thus that if a monster was +/-5 levels from the party you basically couldn't use it without altering the monster basically from the ground up. The math literally didn't support it.

    The 4e CR system seemingly worked better because you couldn't fight monsters outside a specific level range as compared to party level. With little exception using a monster outside of the +/- 5 levels range would result in either a fight so easy there's almost no point to running it, or a fight so hard you shouldn't throw it because it's very likely to kill the party. Especially if that +/-5 crosses a tier line.

    Like the only reason you couldn't take level 1 monsters and make a deadly encounter for a level 11 party with them was due to the accuracy scaling. Those level 1 monsters literally couldn't hit enough to ever be a threat. It doesn't mean you couldn't design a situation in which on level threats couldn't be defeated because of the map design.

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

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

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

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

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