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Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 05:13 AM
Okay...here is a fairly...out-there idea I'm having. MY PLAYERS STAY THE F! OUT!!!!!

Are you out yet? YOU FREAKIN SHOULD BE!!!!

I have recently become enchanted by E6, as I prefer a low-level game that requires ingenuity to be good rather than high modifiers. I'm a storyteller at heart, and I often can't help but run a campaign where my players have to conform to my story and setting as opposed to the other way around. I'm wanting to run a sandbox game in a small, fleshed-out world to reward them for putting up with my long-winded rants for the last 14 years.

So here I sit, designing a small archipelago area of a world that has been completely overrun by undead except for this area. As I was developing the history of why the islands are the way they are, I had this crzy idea.

What if, instead of having my players create characters in this world, what if I literally forced THEM to play in the world? What if I gave them a 28 point buy and told them to build their characters as they see themselves in the real world? I don't actually tell them WHY I'm doing this, just say something obscure about how I'm interested in using them for something at some point (need a good lie here HELP!). Then, on the night we begin our game (under the guise of me getting them together to discuss the world I've built and what characters they may want to play) I spring upon them this:

"Hey, guys, before we start, I want to say I really enjoyed looking over your characters and I have a good idea what I want to do with them at some point." Hand back character sheets.

"Okay, one other thing. I found this the other day, and I was wondering if you know who wrote it. Let me read it out loud.

'As you sit around the table, staring down at the carefully crafted mirrors of how you see yourself, a strange light falls over the room. Across from you, the man reading over the crumpled sheet of notebook paper pauses, briefly glancing up to offer a sly smile.' Pause here to look up and smile. 'As he continues, everything suddenly fades away, and the comfortable surroundings of the living room are abruptly replaced with that of an open field. You squint against the brightness of the warm afternoon sun, your eyes stinging at the sudden, unwelcome intrusion. You realize you are standing looking at one another as if you had each stood from your chairs at your individual places around the mysteriously vacant game table. The DM is gone. It's just the three of you. Alone, and you have no earthly idea where the hell you are.' When I look up, I ask each of them to empty their pockets and then write on their character sheets all the items they have on them.

I doubt this is an original idea, but I think it would be sort of neat to blur the line between in-game knowledge and metagame knowledge. I'll allow them to know anything about the monstrous manual that they as players can remember off the top of their heads, but they won't know anything about the world they are in. I want to make certain things in the game more roleplay based rather than numbers based, and I want them to have to figure out my world as opposed to just making an ancient history role to see if they know something.

Thoughts? Opinions? What skills should I allow upon character creation? What should I disallow? What skills should I rely on roleplay for almost entirely? What variant rules should I use?

Edit: I think I'll adjust the main post with decisions I've made regarding the game. Spoilered for space-saving efficiency, of course.

Use of variant Conviction rules implemented, however, reduced the number of Conviction gained per day to 2, up to a maximum of 6 retained at any time.
Use of variant Death Flag rules implemented.
Point buy 28 allowed.
Character creation as expect, gestalting their first level upon gaining it in the game world.

Gaiyamato
2010-02-26, 05:15 AM
Sounds bloody awesome to me.
I'd love to be a player in that group. :D

Gnaritas
2010-02-26, 05:22 AM
Sounds fun, can their characters die? and how would they be replaced?

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 05:28 AM
Sounds fun, can their characters die? and how would they be replaced?

One of the neatest ideas about E6 is a variant rule called the 'Death Flag'. Basically, the death flag is a way to keep players from dying for stupid reasons, while at the same time giving more meaning to events they feel are worth dying for. As long as their death flag is lowered, any attack that would kill them instead reduces them to -9. As long as their death flag is lowered, they can't really die without DM fiat and a damn good reason. When they raise their death flag, they immediately gain 6 conviction, but they can be killed.

Conviction works like this:
1 point - Roll twice on any action, taking the best of the two results.
2 points - Reroll any roll(after you know if you failed or not), taking the second whether it is better or worse.
2 points - Gain an extra move action on your turn.
3 points - Gain an extra standard action on your turn.

It costs 6 conviction to lower your death flag, so until you earn enough Conviction back to lower it (you are supposed to gain 6 at the start of each day, though I might make Conviction regen at a slower rate to make it more interesting), your character can die.

Basically, the whole point is for your character to say, "Hey, it is really important that I make this next attack. Bad things could happen if we let this guy get away, so I really need to make sure I kill him. I raise my death flag, and use the extra conviction to get an extra standard action, and spend an additional 1 point to roll twice. Here's hoping I win." Gives more meaning to action that a character feels passionately about.

As for being replaced...I don't really know. Any ideas?

Sliver
2010-02-26, 05:30 AM
Sounds fun, can their characters die? and how would they be replaced?

By killing off the player and searching for a new one.. And cleaning up the mess..

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 05:35 AM
By killing off the player and searching for a new one.. And cleaning up the mess..

I'll take this into consideration. :smalltongue:

Sliver
2010-02-26, 06:03 AM
Cleaning up is optional. You can force the new recruit to do that though:smalltongue:

Kiero
2010-02-26, 07:04 AM
What if, instead of having my players create characters in this world, what if I literally forced THEM to play in the world? What if I gave them a 28 point buy and told them to build their characters as they see themselves in the real world?

Two problems with this; people in the real world aren't created "equal", and any individual isn't necessarily the best judge of their own abilities.

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 07:09 AM
Two problems with this; people in the real world aren't created "equal", and any individual isn't necessarily the best judge of their own abilities.

Not really a problem if I ask them to create themselves as a level one character. And it isn't as I see them that's important, it's how they see themselves. I don't have a problem if what they see doesn't exactly match up with what I think it should, just that they can identify with the numbers on their sheet. It's them because they see it as them.

But, okay. You do have a point, Kiero. Based on my plan, how would you solve this problem, as knowing there is a problem does me no good if I'm not provided a solution. :smallwink:

Amphetryon
2010-02-26, 07:11 AM
I know with my players, I'd need to include instructions to the other players not to comment on other players' build choices to reflect themselves. You may well end up missing several 'normal' roles via this method, as well. That said, it could be a fun game. I've seen several iterations of the concept brought up in PbP forums.

Haven
2010-02-26, 07:15 AM
Two problems with this; people in the real world aren't created "equal", and any individual isn't necessarily the best judge of their own abilities.

I think this counts as an acceptable break from reality: playing a sort of idealized version of yourself is fun, and also, the only alternative I can think of involves basically getting judged by the DM (or maybe other players), and that's no good.

Anyway, OP: I would love playing in a game like this. You may want to consider doing it without the subterfuge. It creates a really cool effect, true, but I can see it pissing some people off if they didn't want to play a game like that. (Also, the potential for things being taken personally increases.) I'd ask them to stat themselves, and then have your setup be "For the last few days, you've been having these weird dreams, or visions"--both to explain why they knew about it before, and to provide an Escaflowne shoutout :smallamused:

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 07:20 AM
I think this counts as an acceptable break from reality: playing a sort of idealized version of yourself is fun, and also, the only alternative I can think of involves basically getting judged by the DM (or maybe other players), and that's no good.

Anyway, OP: I would love playing in a game like this. You may want to consider doing it without the subterfuge. It creates a really cool effect, true, but I can see it pissing some people off if they didn't want to play a game like that. (Also, the potential for things being taken personally increases.) I'd ask them to stat themselves, and then have your setup be "For the last few days, you've been having these weird dreams, or visions"--both to explain why they knew about it before, and to provide an Escaflowne shoutout :smallamused:

I see your point. It isn't like I've asked them, 'Hey, let's turn you into characters and put you in an E6 game!' It's true that I really wouldn't be giving them a choice. Of course, I could always do it anyway, and then give them the option to proceed if they like. If not, I'll just have them make normal characters for the already-created world.

One issue I'm having is the whole first level issue thing. Levels are precious in E6, and I don't want to screw them because they chose 'Bard' as their first level and don't want to play as a freakin bard. What would you suggest? Maybe a free level of sorts, like a first level gestalt or something? Maybe they can replace that level once they get some training? Or tell them to suck it up and deal, it's who they are and that won't just go away?

Temotei
2010-02-26, 07:21 AM
When/if they start in-fighting, you should have them fight in real life. Winner gets XP equal to the loser's negative HP total. :smallamused: A kill gives an additional level.

This is a cool idea. :smalltongue:

Premier
2010-02-26, 07:22 AM
I think your desire to run a sandbox world and the "death flag" mechanics are not very compatible. "Death flags", "narrative points", "Fate Points" etc. all arise from the (IMO totally false) assumption that an RPG should try to emulate narrative genres like novels or film by giving the protagonists some sort of narrative immunity; that they're "fated" to succeed. Now, while I disagree with this, I can see why a DM would want to do something like that - in a narrative game; that is, in the sort of quest/campaign that, like a novel, has a start, a clear progression, and definitive ending.

However, you want to run a sandbox. The very core tenet of a sandbox game is that it has no predetermined "plot". There aren't "plot-critical" parts and "unimportant sidequests". EVERYTHING is equally important. Consequently, every death is also equally important, so there are no "stupid deaths" and "important deaths".

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 07:30 AM
I think your desire to run a sandbox world and the "death flag" mechanics are not very compatible. "Death flags", "narrative points", "Fate Points" etc. all arise from the (IMO totally false) assumption that an RPG should try to emulate narrative genres like novels or film by giving the protagonists some sort of narrative immunity; that they're "fated" to succeed. Now, while I disagree with this, I can see why a DM would want to do something like that - in a narrative game; that is, in the sort of quest/campaign that, like a novel, has a start, a clear progression, and definitive ending.

However, you want to run a sandbox. The very core tenet of a sandbox game is that it has no predetermined "plot". There aren't "plot-critical" parts and "unimportant sidequests". EVERYTHING is equally important. Consequently, every death is also equally important, so there are no "stupid deaths" and "important deaths".

You do make a good point, Premier. However, due to unique nature of character creation, I think it slightly more necessary. Besides, the death flag also lends to the idea that your players are unique, tending more towards heroism than your average kumquat salesman. Plus, it allows for situations to arise that normal DnD has a hard time handling. Mainly capture and dreadful, debilitating wounds.

At -9 HP? Maybe the opponent robs you and leaves you for dead. Maybe he takes you prisoner. Maybe you have a compound femur fracture. Maybe you are lying at the bottom of a cliff, broken and bleeding but not quite dead. And without access to resurrection and raise dead spells, death for the hero is that much scarier. Sure, the death flag won't apply in certain circumstances, like the entire party being downed by a hungry, flesh-eating badger, but I think it allows me to do horrible things to them that I may not otherwise be able in a normal game.

Temotei
2010-02-26, 07:32 AM
You do make a good point, Premier. However, due to unique nature of character creation, I think it slightly more necessary. Besides, the death flag also lends to the idea that your players are unique, tending more towards heroism than your average kumquat salesman. Plus, it allows for situations to arise that normal DnD has a hard time handling. Mainly capture and dreadful, debilitating wounds.

At -9 HP? Maybe the opponent robs you and leaves you for dead. Maybe he takes you prisoner. Maybe you have a compound femur fracture. Maybe you are lying at the bottom of a cliff, broken and bleeding but not quite dead. And without access to resurrection and raise dead spells, death for the hero is that much scarier. Sure, the death flag won't apply in certain circumstances, like the entire party being downed by a hungry, flesh-eating badger, but I think it allows me to do horrible things to them that I may not otherwise be able in a normal game.

One of your players is a kumquat salesman?

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 07:32 AM
One of your players is a kumquat salesman?

Family business. He's kinda touch about it, so let's not bring it up again. :smallbiggrin:

Premier
2010-02-26, 08:27 AM
Is there something secret and shameful about selling kumquats?

Anyway, I certainly see how the basic premise calls for some way to avoid too many death. How about crippling injuries that are, y'know, crippling? Like, if a character would die, instead the DM rolls on a table. There's a low chance that death will occur, but most rolls would result in some small but permanent damage, like a few points off your maximum HP, loss of one point from a stat, or if you get lucky, merely the loss of XP (enough of it to actually delay level advancement noticably.

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 08:34 AM
Is there something secret and shameful about selling kumquats?

Anyway, I certainly see how the basic premise calls for some way to avoid too many death. How about crippling injuries that are, y'know, crippling? Like, if a character would die, instead the DM rolls on a table. There's a low chance that death will occur, but most rolls would result in some small but permanent damage, like a few points off your maximum HP, loss of one point from a stat, or if you get lucky, merely the loss of XP (enough of it to actually delay level advancement noticably.

I like this. SOMEONE HOMEBREW ME AN INJURY CHART, STAT! :smallbiggrin:

Evard
2010-02-26, 10:04 AM
Tell your players you will be running a campy for some newb people you met on the internet and you will be using the characters that they created as NPC or Enemies for them to fight :D

Sliver
2010-02-26, 10:53 AM
You could start them up at level 0! (http://scratch.heretical.net/Turning-Repository-Level0.htm)

Kiero
2010-02-26, 01:03 PM
Not really a problem if I ask them to create themselves as a level one character. And it isn't as I see them that's important, it's how they see themselves. I don't have a problem if what they see doesn't exactly match up with what I think it should, just that they can identify with the numbers on their sheet. It's them because they see it as them.

As I said, you've got the immediate problem that real people aren't built on equal resources. I'm pretty significantly more athletic than the rest of my gaming group, but I don't really see that it's necessarily made up for in other areas. Particularly because I'm a few years older than everyone else, experience makes a difference to all sorts of things (like assertiveness and self-assuredness).

What about the people who don't have "28 points of stats" in real life? What about the people who have more than that?

Furthermore, "stat yourself" is largely a reflection of self-esteem, not an objective assessment of your real abilities. People who think they're alright will stat themselves more generously than those who have issues.


But, okay. You do have a point, Kiero. Based on my plan, how would you solve this problem, as knowing there is a problem does me no good if I'm not provided a solution. :smallwink:

There isn't really a solution, as far as I'm concerned, it's a minefield that doesn't have many good outcomes. What are you hoping to achieve by doing this?

If you're going to give them all 28-point buy, what's the point in making them try to model themselves? If they're already "idealised" versions, then again what are you getting out of this if you're not actually trying to model them as they are?


As a more general comment, this whole business of statting out a character blind causes more problems than is worthwhile. How about you just say to them "we're playing E6, let's make characters together"? I'm not seeing any value in this secretive charade. It's a bait-and-switch, and they rarely end well. No matter how cool it might sound in your own head.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-02-26, 01:03 PM
Though aganst the E6 thought proccess.. You could let them stat them selves up as NPC classes.

This gives you a little more lea way as far as dmg and hit points and what not...
I would allow EXP to go to 7th level (due to the npc level) but count them as 1st level untill they physicaly get to there 2nd class level...

OR


You could ask them to choose a class they think they would have fun playing even if its opposite to what they believe they would be... though you should tell them that After they do there point buy.


Edit:

Kiero if any thing hes already boosting there self esteem by alot 28 point buy is more then average joe. Granted i don't know who he or your play with but i know average joe has 10's and 11's accross the board mabye one or two higher. Though i agree with you that alot of stat placing is going to be based on self esteem and self judgment.
Which brings up a good point tell them that average joe has a 10-11's in most stats.


Actualy OP, you may want to give them 25 point buy.

Evard
2010-02-26, 01:08 PM
I had a friend who thought he had a charisma of 18 -_-;;; yeah no where close just ask any of the girls he used his "moves" on or listen to him while trying to convince someone to take his side in an argument *shudder*

If you are going with "stat yourself" one thing you could do is find a test online somewhere that you like that tests "what are my dnd stats" or "what class am I" that shows stats of people (make one yourself) and have them use those stats.... You may want to sit down with them and do the test with them and be like "oh come on you can't really lift 300 lbs over your head easily!"

Kiero
2010-02-26, 01:16 PM
Kiero if any thing hes already boosting there self esteem by alot 28 point buy is more then average joe. Granted i don't know who he or your play with but i know average joe has 10's and 11's accross the board mabye one or two higher. Though i agree with you that alot of stat placing is going to be based on self esteem and self judgment.
Which brings up a good point tell them that average joe has a 10-11's in most stats.

Are they supposed to be reflections of the player or not? If they are, you shouldn't be giving everyone an equal amount of points. Hell, that's a case for not allocating stats by points at all, but by some kind of objective measures.*

Sorry, this is just a bad idea, IMO.

*Good luck with that, mind.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-02-26, 01:24 PM
Are they supposed to be reflections of the player or not? If they are, you shouldn't be giving everyone an equal amount of points. Hell, that's a case for not allocating stats by points at all, but by some kind of objective measures.*

Sorry, this is just a bad idea, IMO.

*Good luck with that, mind.

True there is a certain amount of disconnect however... you could always explain the odd scores as how you project your self in the game world...
Though i doubt players will look into it that much. we played a game like that though it was more of falling through the table and we adjusted our selves as we precive our selves.. a few people changed race as well(mostly at the becknoing of the group) 2 where elves. and 1 was a dwarf... it was amusing none the less.

Sliver
2010-02-26, 01:26 PM
Don't think of it as a perfect representation of the player. That can't happen in D&D. Like Haven said, it is more of an idealized version of the player that they will play, so there is nothing wrong with everybody starting as equals. Unless you want to force the DM to start evaluating each player and saying them "You are worth 28 points, you are 20". That won't end well, and it basically means the DM is building their character for them, then deconstructs it and hands them the tools.

Kiero
2010-02-26, 01:42 PM
Don't think of it as a perfect representation of the player. That can't happen in D&D. Like Haven said, it is more of an idealized version of the player that they will play, so there is nothing wrong with everybody starting as equals. Unless you want to force the DM to start evaluating each player and saying them "You are worth 28 points, you are 20". That won't end well, and it basically means the DM is building their character for them, then deconstructs it and hands them the tools.

Then what value is served in using the player as an "inspiration" at all?

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 01:48 PM
Then what value is served in using the player as an "inspiration" at all?

Fun. Games where you play yourself can be a ton of fun.

We used to play a game called Villains and Vigilantes. Horribly complex system, but our GM would usually play us through "origin stories". "You're doing something, then this weird event happens, and you have superpowers... but you don't know what they are." So, you played through figuring out your superpowers. You wound up running a bit wild, 'cause we were teenagers with superpowers in a non-superpowered world. You got caught up in plots.

It was FUN. Your relationships within the group are pre-existing, so it's the outside world you have to explore. So long as people are willing to let others stat themselves as they please (i.e. no "You do not have an 18 intelligence! You failed math last year!"), and proceed on the "We are having fun" principle, it's all good.

(Of course, there's always The Sleeping Dragon option... which is not fun, but entertaining to read about)

Sliver
2010-02-26, 01:48 PM
You completely missed the point..

You can't exactly represent yourself in D&D, and giving them each a different point buy means the DM has to set it, and not every player will like saying "well, I think you are worth 6 points less then Joe".

A player can go and say "well, I'm pretty good at X but not really at the top, but slightly above average at Y" and so on and based on that build with what he has.

Your character not having the exact stats like you do and your character having no connection to you aren't the same.

But 28 is higher then most people so you should be either going with something lower or be ready for the fact that some stats will be higher then they actually are.

Kylarra
2010-02-26, 01:49 PM
I'd have to say that bait and switch tactics rarely work out well, in a vacuum. You obviously know your players better than the rest of us, but I think this would still be a lot of fun, and a lot less likely to blow up in your face, if you just came and played it straight.

Kiero
2010-02-26, 01:56 PM
You completely missed the point..

You can't exactly represent yourself in D&D, and giving them each a different point buy means the DM has to set it, and not every player will like saying "well, I think you are worth 6 points less then Joe".

A player can go and say "well, I'm pretty good at X but not really at the top, but slightly above average at Y" and so on and based on that build with what he has.

Your character not having the exact stats like you do and your character having no connection to you aren't the same.

But 28 is higher then most people so you should be either going with something lower or be ready for the fact that some stats will be higher then they actually are.

You can't represent yourself exactly, because D&D doesn't have the facilities to do that. That's not what I'm talking about. You can still represent yourself as exactly as is possible with the tools the system gives you.

What's being described here isn't that.

And there's the problem that you're using point-buy to simulate what isn't based on equal resources in the first place. That's without getting into the rest of the system.


Fun. Games where you play yourself can be a ton of fun.

We used to play a game called Villains and Vigilantes. Horribly complex system, but our GM would usually play us through "origin stories". "You're doing something, then this weird event happens, and you have superpowers... but you don't know what they are." So, you played through figuring out your superpowers. You wound up running a bit wild, 'cause we were teenagers with superpowers in a non-superpowered world. You got caught up in plots.

It was FUN. Your relationships within the group are pre-existing, so it's the outside world you have to explore. So long as people are willing to let others stat themselves as they please (i.e. no "You do not have an 18 intelligence! You failed math last year!"), and proceed on the "We are having fun" principle, it's all good.

(Of course, there's always The Sleeping Dragon option... which is not fun, but entertaining to read about)

So you want chargen by committee evaluation then?

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 02:06 PM
So you want chargen by committee evaluation then?

Actually, that's more or less the opposite of what I said. As I said, "So long as people are willing to let others stat themselves as they please (i.e. no 'You do not have an 18 intelligence! You failed math last year!'), and proceed on the "We are having fun" principle, it's all good."

I make myself as a 28 point buy character:

Well, I'm not too strong for my size, but my size is pretty big, so I'm stronger than average. I'll put it at 13 (5pts, 23 remaining). I'm not agile, but I'm not clumsy, so just 10 (2 pts, 21 remaining). I'm out of shape, so I'm not going to go much higher than 10 or 11 for Con... I'll minmax a touch and just make it 10 (2 pts, 19 remaining). Now, I like to think I'm pretty smart, so I'm going to kick 13 points into Intelligence, giving me a 17 (13pts, 6 remaining). If I go with a 10 Wisdom (not terribly perceptive and with willpower issues, but who likes to think themselves as having negatives?), I have enough left for a 12 Charisma... I think it should be higher, but I don't have the points left.

Would everyone agree with my stats for me? Probably not. However, they're within the 28 point buy, and represent me as me... so if I don't argue too hard with people about THEIR stats, they leave me alone about mine.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-02-26, 04:22 PM
Actually, that's more or less the opposite of what I said. As I said, "So long as people are willing to let others stat themselves as they please (i.e. no 'You do not have an 18 intelligence! You failed math last year!'), and proceed on the "We are having fun" principle, it's all good."

I make myself as a 28 point buy character:

Well, I'm not too strong for my size, but my size is pretty big, so I'm stronger than average. I'll put it at 13 (5pts, 23 remaining). I'm not agile, but I'm not clumsy, so just 10 (2 pts, 21 remaining). I'm out of shape, so I'm not going to go much higher than 10 or 11 for Con... I'll minmax a touch and just make it 10 (2 pts, 19 remaining). Now, I like to think I'm pretty smart, so I'm going to kick 13 points into Intelligence, giving me a 17 (13pts, 6 remaining). If I go with a 10 Wisdom (not terribly perceptive and with willpower issues, but who likes to think themselves as having negatives?), I have enough left for a 12 Charisma... I think it should be higher, but I don't have the points left.

Would everyone agree with my stats for me? Probably not. However, they're within the 28 point buy, and represent me as me... so if I don't argue too hard with people about THEIR stats, they leave me alone about mine.

That's actually really amusing to read... no idea weather its true or not.

I wonder though do you think 28 is to high a point buy...

I think in a group you would also have to have a mutual understanding of what a high stat means... like what was einstien or an olympic athletes stats..

Side note:
also Mr. Hall. you sig's line "If you're not specific, I will assume you are talking about AD&D" made me laugh.

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 05:22 PM
I wonder though do you think 28 is to high a point buy...

I think in a group you would also have to have a mutual understanding of what a high stat means... like what was einstien or an olympic athletes stats..

I don't think 28 is too high, and I don't think you necessarily need a consensus on what a given stat means. What you need is a standard value for all players (for fairness sake... yes, we all know idiots who are ugly, clumsy, and have no common sense, but a game is a game... and we're not going to judge the DM, nosiree :smallbiggrin:), and have people making characters they're happy with. These are the players as they see themselves. If Senor Klutzo sees himself with an 18 Dex, then he can have an 18 Dex... but because he's got a limited point total, he's got to make sacrifices other places. If everyone has the same point total, they're at least starting from the same place.




Side note:
also Mr. Hall. you sig's line "If you're not specific, I will assume you are talking about AD&D" made me laugh.

Given the ease and commonality of putting edition/game tags in the subject line, I think it's inexcusable on a board that regularly talks about numerous editions not to.

Kiero
2010-02-26, 06:46 PM
That's actually really amusing to read... no idea weather its true or not.

I wonder though do you think 28 is to high a point buy...

I think in a group you would also have to have a mutual understanding of what a high stat means... like what was einstien or an olympic athletes stats..

Olympic athletes are still people as well. And if you're gifted with the right genes, had the opportunities, and put the effort it it's not unattainable. But with giving everyone the same number of points, you lose all that variety that exists out there, and probably does to a lesser extent in a gaming group.

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 08:58 PM
Olympic athletes are still people as well. And if you're gifted with the right genes, had the opportunities, and put the effort it it's not unattainable. But with giving everyone the same number of points, you lose all that variety that exists out there, and probably does to a lesser extent in a gaming group.

Yeah, I gotta disagree with you, for a few reasons.

1) With a limited pool of points, everyone is going to prioritize differently. I regularly play with my younger brother, who would likely put nothing into Charisma... 'cause he has the personality of a badger. A rabid badger. With hemmoroids.

2) It's a game, meaning you want people to have fun... and nothing is going to start a fight faster than "Well, Dave, I know everyone else has 28 points, but I'm gonna limit you to 24, because you're weak, stupid, and smell funny."

If you go with "assign whatever attributes you like", then you have one person who is going to waaaaay over-estimate their own abilities, and a few others who will be moderate, and maybe someone who's going to have crap stats (either because they're honest or because they have low self-esteem). Providing a pool of points gives you an approximate baseline of ability (i.e. one person can't consider themselves so highly that they can rock the stats), but lets people customize themselves to where they are.

Kiero
2010-02-26, 09:47 PM
Yeah, I gotta disagree with you, for a few reasons.

1) With a limited pool of points, everyone is going to prioritize differently. I regularly play with my younger brother, who would likely put nothing into Charisma... 'cause he has the personality of a badger. A rabid badger. With hemmoroids.

2) It's a game, meaning you want people to have fun... and nothing is going to start a fight faster than "Well, Dave, I know everyone else has 28 points, but I'm gonna limit you to 24, because you're weak, stupid, and smell funny."

If you go with "assign whatever attributes you like", then you have one person who is going to waaaaay over-estimate their own abilities, and a few others who will be moderate, and maybe someone who's going to have crap stats (either because they're honest or because they have low self-esteem). Providing a pool of points gives you an approximate baseline of ability (i.e. one person can't consider themselves so highly that they can rock the stats), but lets people customize themselves to where they are.

1) misses the point that there are people who are simply better than others at everything covered by stats. And some who are worse than other people at everything covered by stats. We are not built on equal resources.

The alternative isn't give varying amounts of points. It's not to use points at all, and use some other measure of assessing what the stats should be.

Your 2) is exactly why this is a stupid idea in the first place.

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 10:10 PM
1) misses the point that there are people who are simply better than others at everything covered by stats. And some who are worse than other people at everything covered by stats. We are not built on equal resources.

The alternative isn't give varying amounts of points. It's not to use points at all, and use some other measure of assessing what the stats should be.

Your 2) is exactly why this is a stupid idea in the first place.

See, it's a stupid idea only if you insist on making everything, 100%, true to life. It's a fun idea if you are content to have a few inaccuracies in the name of a good game. So what if some people are stupider, clumsier, or more pig-headed than everyone else? Is the game, the time spent at a table with your friends, REALLY improved by determining that Jack has a 14 Strength and Eric has an 8? Or that everyone secretly thinks Jason, the "ladies man", is a jerk and should have a low charisma?

I'm all for realism... but not when it's intent is to make the game-time less fun.

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 10:26 PM
Fun. Games where you play yourself can be a ton of fun.

We used to play a game called Villains and Vigilantes. Horribly complex system, but our GM would usually play us through "origin stories". "You're doing something, then this weird event happens, and you have superpowers... but you don't know what they are." So, you played through figuring out your superpowers. You wound up running a bit wild, 'cause we were teenagers with superpowers in a non-superpowered world. You got caught up in plots.

It was FUN. Your relationships within the group are pre-existing, so it's the outside world you have to explore. So long as people are willing to let others stat themselves as they please (i.e. no "You do not have an 18 intelligence! You failed math last year!"), and proceed on the "We are having fun" principle, it's all good.

(Of course, there's always The Sleeping Dragon option... which is not fun, but entertaining to read about)


THIS. This EXACTLY. Balance with the rest of the world doesn't matter. True to real life doesn't matter. I'm asking my players to stat themselves out in a balanced manner (balanced against one another) as they would see themselves in DnD. FOR FUN! That's the whole point.

Mark Hall, you hit the nail on the head with the 'your relationships within the group are pre-existing, so its the outside world you have to explore.' That is EXACTLY what I'm trying to accomplish. In order to make them competitive, my players have to be statted out in way that makes them viable IN DnD, not the real world.

So I'm going to go ahead with the 28 point buy. That being said, may I request we change focus?


I'd have to say that bait and switch tactics rarely work out well, in a vacuum. You obviously know your players better than the rest of us, but I think this would still be a lot of fun, and a lot less likely to blow up in your face, if you just came and played it straight.

I can see how that would be a problem, but my players like being surprised by me, and they are used to it. I would be very surprised if they didn't suspect I was being sneaky when I asked them to stat themselves, but I'm sure they will be excited trying to figure out what I have in store for them.

That being said, I should probably do my best to make the transition easy on them by providing them with character and build options to ensure they don't feel cheated.


Though aganst the E6 thought proccess.. You could let them stat them selves up as NPC classes.

This gives you a little more lea way as far as dmg and hit points and what not...
I would allow EXP to go to 7th level (due to the npc level) but count them as 1st level untill they physicaly get to there 2nd class level...



I think I like this option best. Do you think I should allow them to go to 7th level (in E6 that's sorta sacrilegious) or should I allow them to gestalt their first level with another level or should I allow them to replace their first level with something more useful once they gain enough experience? I don't like the third option, as it sorta invalidates the whole idea of building their characters as themselves.

Another point that no one has addressed yet: How should I treat skills? I want to make the game more roleplay based, giving my players the ability to use metagame knowledge to understand monsters and game mechanics, and boost social skills by their ability to provide good player-spoken bluffs or arguments. What about some of the other skills?

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 10:47 PM
1) Classes. Have everyone stat themselves as Experts, 1st level; anyone with actual military experience can choose Warrior, instead. Once they reach 2nd level, let them repick their class to be one more thematically appropriate to the world, and start over again, with the better of their Expert or Class stats (so someone who wanted to be a sorcerer would have, at 1st level, an experts 6 skill points and d6 HD, but they'd otherwise be 1st level sorcerers; a rogue would have to pick up 8 more skill points (4* the 2 point difference between a rogue and an Expert). At subsequent levels, they're normal members of their class.
Also, decide how you want to handle religion. Odds are most of your group is Christian, but I'd suggest simply staying away from anything religious in general... if someone in your group wants to play a cleric, let them play one, pick their domains, and more or less never mention it again.

2) Skills. If you're putting them in E6, and asking them to stat themselves, be prepared for some odd skills and odd skill questions. For example, someone is going to ask about computers, and how that translates into character. Someone is going to ask about driving skills and how that fits into the skills system. A lot of these can be handled with the base skills there... computer use can be handled with Profession (though you might give them some use of Gather Information or Use Magic Device), but most modern skills won't translate too well.

3) Physics, or "Captain Kirk and the fight with the Gorn." Who in your group can rattle off the process for creating gunpowder? Will you let them... cause the game changes once your group has cast-iron black powder grenades. While you don't have to worry about the "polymorph unattended items to cesium" problem, you may run into any number of schemes having to do with modernish technology and the world.

4) Replacement characters. While Death Flag is in use, that still means someone may, at some point, die. What do you do when they croak?

Gan The Grey
2010-02-26, 11:09 PM
1) Classes. Have everyone stat themselves as Experts, 1st level; anyone with actual military experience can choose Warrior, instead. Once they reach 2nd level, let them repick their class to be one more thematically appropriate to the world, and start over again, with the better of their Expert or Class stats (so someone who wanted to be a sorcerer would have, at 1st level, an experts 6 skill points and d6 HD, but they'd otherwise be 1st level sorcerers; a rogue would have to pick up 8 more skill points (4* the 2 point difference between a rogue and an Expert). At subsequent levels, they're normal members of their class.
Also, decide how you want to handle religion. Odds are most of your group is Christian, but I'd suggest simply staying away from anything religious in general... if someone in your group wants to play a cleric, let them play one, pick their domains, and more or less never mention it again.

No one has military experience, though one of my players has extensive martial arts background in multiple styles, so I might allow him to take a single monk level if he wants. I think you are basically telling me to gestalt my players, which I'm starting to agree with more and more. I'll have everyone start out as an expert.


2) Skills. If you're putting them in E6, and asking them to stat themselves, be prepared for some odd skills and odd skill questions. For example, someone is going to ask about computers, and how that translates into character. Someone is going to ask about driving skills and how that fits into the skills system. A lot of these can be handled with the base skills there... computer use can be handled with Profession (though you might give them some use of Gather Information or Use Magic Device), but most modern skills won't translate too well.

That's a good point, and something I hadn't thought about. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I HAVE YOU GUYS AND GALS!!!!!! I can probably translate certain skills into other DnD skills, breaking verisimilitude a bit to do so, but it might be necessary. IE Driving to Ride, Computers to Use Magic Objects, ect ect... I'll have to look at that on a case by case basis.


3) Physics, or "Captain Kirk and the fight with the Gorn." Who in your group can rattle off the process for creating gunpowder? Will you let them... cause the game changes once your group has cast-iron black powder grenades. While you don't have to worry about the "polymorph unattended items to cesium" problem, you may run into any number of schemes having to do with modernish technology and the world.

Yeah....I'm not too worried about them using much real world knowledge to break the game. They aren't exactly scholars or engineers, and I trust them not to look it up at a later date, memorize it, and try to sneak it in game.


4) Replacement characters. While Death Flag is in use, that still means someone may, at some point, die. What do you do when they croak?

I. have. no. clue. That's going to be the biggest problem. I think, at that point, I'll allow them to make another character from that world at a lower level. It could be kinda cool to have one of my friends die and the other players have to lament his death for the remainder of the campaign.

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 11:51 PM
No one has military experience, though one of my players has extensive martial arts background in multiple styles, so I might allow him to take a single monk level if he wants. I think you are basically telling me to gestalt my players, which I'm starting to agree with more and more. I'll have everyone start out as an expert.

Personally, I would only Gestalt them at level 1, and then with Expert (in fact, were I to ever run 3.x again, I would likely let everyone Gestalt at level 1 with an NPC class); once they start adventuring, they stand or fall by the character classes they choose. You might let the martial artist choose Improved Unarmed Strike, and then replace it with something else if he takes a monk level, though.


That's a good point, and something I hadn't thought about. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I HAVE YOU GUYS AND GALS!!!!!! I can probably translate certain skills into other DnD skills, breaking verisimilitude a bit to do so, but it might be necessary. IE Driving to Ride, Computers to Use Magic Objects, ect ect... I'll have to look at that on a case by case basis.

Probably your best bet. In the case of computer usage, I would only really count it as "Use Magic Device" for people who can do things with their computers... folks who program a little. The guy who just does Google searches and plays TF2? He's got Gather Information.


Yeah....I'm not too worried about them using much real world knowledge to break the game. They aren't exactly scholars or engineers, and I trust them not to look it up at a later date, memorize it, and try to sneak it in game.

Truth to tell, since you're going E6, you've got a lot less to fear. It's once folks start tossing around polymorph any object or planar gating that real world knowledge really breaks the world.


I. have. no. clue. That's going to be the biggest problem. I think, at that point, I'll allow them to make another character from that world at a lower level. It could be kinda cool to have one of my friends die and the other players have to lament his death for the remainder of the campaign.

You can either go with the lower-level option... or have someone simply come in from another world. Maybe from our world. Maybe from some other world that has nothing to do with ours. Have them convert a favorite non-D&D character they've played in the past to D&D world, and let them play "Monjosh Fett, Republic Jedi" reacting to hordes of undead in a world where the force works funny and his lightsaber is just a brilliant energy longsword.

Gan The Grey
2010-02-27, 01:09 AM
Personally, I would only Gestalt them at level 1, and then with Expert (in fact, were I to ever run 3.x again, I would likely let everyone Gestalt at level 1 with an NPC class); once they start adventuring, they stand or fall by the character classes they choose. You might let the martial artist choose Improved Unarmed Strike, and then replace it with something else if he takes a monk level, though.

That's what I meant.

imp_fireball
2010-02-27, 03:15 AM
Would everyone agree with my stats for me? Probably not. However, they're within the 28 point buy, and represent me as me... so if I don't argue too hard with people about THEIR stats, they leave me alone about mine.

And that's what I call social common sense. If people whine from the get go unnecessarily then the group is doomed.

I like the idea of 0 level - it is comparable to commoner but better, by allowing a bonus feat and some kind of magical affinity (but for the latter, you have to take a level in a relevant class).

Anyway, here's me:

Impfireball
0th level Human Nobody (no class)
HP: 3
BAB: +0
AC: 11 touch, 10 FF, 11 total

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 18
Charisma: 6

Feats: Alertness (+2 spot/listen)
Skills: Spot +8, Listen +9
Spells: Resistance (+1 all saves on target for 1 minute)

Which doesn't reflect me as I consider myself in real life at all - except for maybe the wisdom. :smalltongue:

I think I'd make a pretty good cleric or druid. Or ranger.