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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcW View Post
    Xykon does not know MDJ, unless he has a scroll of his own.
    Quote Originally Posted by OotS
    O-Chul: "It's Xykon's spell list, or most of it anyway."

    Roy: "Are you kidding?!? How did you get this??"

    O-Chul: "One Saving Throw at a time."
    Yeah, I'm sure Xykon was blasting the unarmed prisoner with a spell which only disjoins ongoing spells and magic items. Come on, who's even heard of a high-level caster who doesn't have MDJ?

    Plus, my point almost certainly still holds if you Find-Replace MDJ with Epic Dispellation. Whatever that is, it can't be worse than MDJ at doing the exact same thing; MDJ is basically the end of the Dispel Magic tree.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    Yeah, I'm sure Xykon was blasting the unarmed prisoner with a spell which only disjoins ongoing spells and magic items. Come on, who's even heard of a high-level caster who doesn't have MDJ?

    Plus, my point almost certainly still holds if you Find-Replace MDJ with Epic Dispellation. Whatever that is, it can't be worse than MDJ at doing the exact same thing; MDJ is basically the end of the Dispel Magic tree.
    I've yet to see a high-level spellcaster who knew it, much less used it. No party wants to destroy all the bad guy's treasure (not to mention its own).
    Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

    The irony is that my favorite colors are black and red, and I almost always play chaotic good characters.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcW View Post
    Xykon does not know MDJ, unless he has a scroll of his own.
    Allowing, for the moment, that Xykon knows only three ninth-level spells.

    It doesn't actually matter; he knows Superb Dispelling.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    I've yet to see a high-level spellcaster who knew it, much less used it. No party wants to destroy all the bad guy's treasure (not to mention its own).
    Wow. That shocks me; that's got to be my second favorite spell from both sides of the DM screen. How else are you supposed to strip off the enemy caster's buffs?

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Allowing, for the moment, that Xykon knows only three ninth-level spells.

    It doesn't actually matter; he knows Superb Dispelling.
    Superb Dispelling
    Abjuration
    Spellcraft DC: 59
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: 300 ft.
    Target: One creature or object
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No
    To Develop: 531,000 gp; 11 days; 21,240 XP. Seed: dispel (DC 19). Factors: additional +30 to dispel check (+30 DC), 1-action casting time (+20 DC). Mitigating factor: 10d6 backlash (-10 DC).
    As greater dispel magic, except that the maximum bonus on the dispel check is +40, and the character takes 10d6 points of backlash damage.
    So superb dispelling does nothing like MDJ. It's just greater dispel with a higher bonus on the dispel check. At best it will suppress the magic on one item for 1d4 rounds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    Wow. That shocks me; that's got to be my second favorite spell from both sides of the DM screen. How else are you supposed to strip off the enemy caster's buffs?

    Using MDJ to take out buffs resembles nuking a city to clean the streets.
    Last edited by CelestialStick; 2012-09-20 at 03:46 PM.
    Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

    The irony is that my favorite colors are black and red, and I almost always play chaotic good characters.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Pretty Good

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    Wow. That shocks me; that's got to be my second favorite spell from both sides of the DM screen. How else are you supposed to strip off the enemy caster's buffs?
    You seriously want to risk becoming the Wizard/Sorcerer equivalent of a Fallen Paladin? All a DM has to do is put a few hidden artifacts in range, you cast your spell which hurts your allies magic items as much as your enemies, and you end up risking losing all your spellcasting abilities FOREVER... Wish and Miracle can't even restore them. So now you're a Level 18+ target, basically free experience since you can't do almost anything anymore. MDJ is a DM Fiat Spell, it is only viable as a last ditch nuke to f-over the entire party when you don't want to say "Rocks Fall"

    Any DM that is letting you choose it is secretly laughing on the inside, waiting for you to use it and screw your party and yourself. I'd literally decide the moment a player learned that spell that an several invisible intelligent artifacts with weak saves has been drawn to the party and are following them in hopes of bonding with some of the members... Might even drop hints, and the moment you cast that spell, all the artifacts that failed their saves would be sending out backlash to strip you of your spellcasting, and since you destroyed most if not all your party's magical items and weapons magic, you basically have crippled the party, and of course the party will know... it will have been all your fault.

    And then for each destroyed artifact I'd roll a d20 to see if some powerful beings who each have an interest in or connection with each of the artifacts is attracted by its destruction (rules say 95% chance, so only on all 20s will no being show up, so for each destroyed artifact that a 20 is not rolled a being will show up). If they beings don't kill you and the party, your party will kill you afterwards.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Artifacts do not grow on trees, but 17th+ level PCs fight enemies who may well own one.

    The obvious downside is you may be destroying the most useful loot. It is not a very good habit, and it will not win you friends.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    I counter your Big Stuff equaled heroes with Sisyphus (defeated death and outwitted Hades and Zeus, multiple times), Midas (became epicly wealthy, gambled against Apollo, is legendary for his golden touch which many see as good despite it being a cautionary tale), Antaeus (slaughtered thousands with his bare hands), Arachne (outwove Athena), and Autolycus (Stole from anyone and everyone without getting caught)..
    WUT?

    All you're doing is demonstrating, perhaps, that to be a Hero you had to have Heroic virtues (courage and whatnot) in addition to doing Big Stuff. Yes, I left that part out, thanks for adding it.

    In no way are your examples "counter"ing the concept that Classical Hero transcends the Good/Bad axis. It's not as if I invented the concept of the Hero in Classical Literature; there is a HUGE huge body of work on the concept. Tolkien wrote LotR, in part, to explore the idea; note that his Heroes exemplify the pagan virtues in a wholly admirable way although they occasionally led them to folly.
    Last edited by rewinn; 2012-09-23 at 02:05 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    Any DM that is letting you choose it is secretly laughing on the inside, waiting for you to use it and screw your party and yourself. I'd literally decide the moment a player learned that spell that an several invisible intelligent artifacts with weak saves has been drawn to the party and are following them in hopes of bonding with some of the members...
    If you're the kind of GM who would, based on the choice of a player on what spell to chose upon leveling up, concoct a scenario designed to ruin that character forever, then I'm very happy not to have ever played D&D with you.

    No, not all GMs "secretly laugh on the inside" when a player picks a spell. Not the good ones, at least.
    I'm a goddamn baby-making, life-taking MACHINE!

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    You seriously want to risk becoming the Wizard/Sorcerer equivalent of a Fallen Paladin? All a DM has to do is put a few hidden artifacts in range, you cast your spell which hurts your allies magic items as much as your enemies, and you end up risking losing all your spellcasting abilities FOREVER... Wish and Miracle can't even restore them. So now you're a Level 18+ target, basically free experience since you can't do almost anything anymore. MDJ is a DM Fiat Spell, it is only viable as a last ditch nuke to f-over the entire party when you don't want to say "Rocks Fall"
    ...
    This seems... crazy to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mage's Disjunction description, parameters, SRD
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Area: All magical effects and magic items within a 40-ft.-radius burst
    You can place the burst further than 40 feet away from the party to save their magic items. I'm not saying people will never try to cast it closer, but a wizard should know better, yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mage's Disjunction description, 3rd paragraph, SRD
    Even artifacts are subject to disjunction, though there is only a 1% chance per caster level of actually affecting such powerful items. Additionally, if an artifact is destroyed, you must make a DC 25 Will save or permanently lose all spellcasting abilities. (These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even miracle or wish.)
    Regardless of distance, destroying an unknown artifact is a risk to the caster, granted. Perhaps, later, the party, though I am having some difficulty in locating rules for destroying minor artifacts, while major artifacts are suggested to have specific means of destruction. Anyway, the risk is roughly 1 in 5 for any given casting affecting any given minor artifact in a non-epic campaign, and even the beginning of some epic level ones. Or are you saying you would choose, as a DM, to just waive that percentage chance? Would you have the artifacts purposely fail the saving throws? Would you add 10 or 20 to the save DC for a character who most likely has a good Will save progression? If any of that is the case... how much do you hate your players? Is the offending spellcaster PC a Kender?
    Last edited by KillingAScarab; 2012-09-20 at 10:19 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    You can place the burst further than 40 feet away from the party to save their magic items. I'm not saying people will never try to cast it closer, but a wizard should know better, yes?
    Well, yes. And yet...
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    If you're the kind of GM who would, based on the choice of a player on what spell to chose upon leveling up, concoct a scenario designed to ruin that character forever, then I'm very happy not to have ever played D&D with you.

    No, not all GMs "secretly laugh on the inside" when a player picks a spell. Not the good ones, at least.
    Ditto.

    789.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Well, yes. And yet...
    That is exactly why Durkon will get as far away from Vaarsuvius as possible when the bargain V made and the reason for it come to light; that adult black dragon's lair was surrounded by trees so, clearly, they must have been allies who will seek revenge as soon as they leave the barren safety of the desert.
    Last edited by KillingAScarab; 2012-09-20 at 11:43 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    If you're the kind of GM who would, based on the choice of a player on what spell to chose upon leveling up, concoct a scenario designed to ruin that character forever, then I'm very happy not to have ever played D&D with you.

    No, not all GMs "secretly laugh on the inside" when a player picks a spell. Not the good ones, at least.
    1) Actually, the lousy ones laugh out loud, the experienced and high quality ones do only laugh on the inside.

    2) DMs must not be of Good alignment... for all intents and purposes DMs need to be True Neutral :) otherwise they're biased toward Chaos, Law, Good, or Evil, which is unfair to the players who do not choose the matching axes (hmm, the plural of Axis is Axes... I wonder if that means Battle Axes and Great Axes and Dwarven War Axes can't be aligned?)

    3) Obviously you don't read Darths & Droids :) It teaches us that GMs/DMs/STs are inherently supposed to be out to screw their players any way possible :) Make them Fear the Dice
    Know Only Villians wear cloaks/capes (also, everyone's favorite Lich is mentioned in this one as an example)
    Understand Crossfire is great, for everyone but the players
    Always be in Danger
    Fire cleanses everything, use liberally
    If you declare you won, you lost
    If an NPC goes along with your plan, you're in trouble
    Sharing plans with fellow PCs ensures failure
    Don't make the GM/DM/ST Angry, you wouldn't like them when they're angry

    There is sooo much more, but Darths & Droids is over 780 comics in, so there are so many with advice for DM/GM/ST cruelty (as well as PC insanity and DM/GM/ST Insanity inducing PC behavior) suggestions, that I think I'll let you find the rest on your own

    ---------------------------------

    And to defend myself, I will give events from actual games.

    Event 1 - PC to Deity to Paperweight
    PC mapped out a series events of legwork, using the games system, planned for a month, which made his character effectively a deity. (System Heroes Unlimited)

    I spent 5 minutes thinking it over since he presented the plan during Magic night... my answer, a higher deity was infuriated by his audacity, smacked him, and he ended up as a living brain in a jar in the workshop/semi trailer of his super tech building teammate (Note: The character was essentially little more then a Brain in a Robot body to begin with before the whole plan, and I expected his teammate to build him a new body within a week, especially since the players had been friends since pre-school... I underestimated the cruelty of players... that was essentially the end of his character for that campaign...)


    Event 2 - The Luckiest Henchman

    Same Campaign as above, same Tech Genius Guy (the friend, not the cyborg), rushes into a meeting of powered and heavily armed henchmen, his heavy weapon a blazing. He blows apart all but 1, which he proceeds to miss, botch, miss, and completely fail to hit, not once, but a record 13 times, despite the guy being literally the lowest NPC I made, he didn't even have a name, he was just goon 4. Goon 4 escaped, and would return later with a name, technically given by the players, 'Lucky'.

    Sub Event 2 - The many returns of 'Lucky'

    Lucky actually would become a recurring mercenary, hired by every big bad in ever Superhero themed game and system I would ever make, and yes, somehow, this guy, prepared, or unprepared, would avoid harm, time and again, so much so that I actually had him start to level some, going from a guy with a pistol, to a skilled mercenary, to a veteran criminal for hire along the lines of Bullseye, to actually the head of his own criminal conglomerate. Things Lucky survived, the literally nuking of a major shopping center (he was hired to take on the heroes, and had a battle armor suit in his van, the hero so infuriated after missing a half dozen flying ranged attacks from above on Lucky decided to use full power and power dive as a living bomb at Lucky and the van. Lucky got into the van and donned the armor while the hero was charging up his field, and so when the explosion hit the center was leveled, the energy was crackling, the van was totaled, and inside his armored suit, Lucky actually with a twisted ankle ripped out of the van's wreckage to continue the fight. The Hero in terror teleported away), being shot at I think at last count 247 times (one if the players has kept track of how many times they have failed to hit or Lucky has had something that allowed him to dodge their attacks), being hunted by 14 heroes at once.

    Event 3 - The most suicidal player

    This guy got his first character killed 6 times (3 by fellow PCs) in 5 sessions, later characters included a guy who could leap into orbit and then plummet back (that was the concept, he wanted to be able to leap into orbit, and then plummet back as a living meteor, he min-maxed himself to the hilt, had 1 skill- Jumping, maxed out, had 10s or lower in every stat in Mutants & Masterminds except Strength and Constitution, took no attack, barely any defense, just lots of toughness and other damage soaking abilities, super strength, and anything that could increase his jump. The other players literally ended up having to use everything they could to save the people in downtown the first time he did this trick to stop a purse snatcher), a Vampire in WoD setting who attacked a pack of Shifters when he and all the other players were just turned members (he thought as a Venture with Fortitude, that he could beat any shifter)... I'd like to say that I thought he was messing with me, but I found out he plays MMOs and Nintendo DS linked Fantasy Party Games the exact same way... his team has to used all their phoenix downs on him 97% of the time.

    Event 4 - Death Race?

    Two players Min-Maxed like crazy decided to make themselves able to defy physics when it came to movement, once could run super fast (we're talking he was so fast he could run accelerate beyond the speed of light by a factor of 10,000,000,000x it, another player could teleport instantly to anywhere roughly in the Sol System... they decided to race to Pluto... they made it... neither had any protection of cold, vacuum, nor an immunity to make it where they needed to breath. They decided to do this since their final player, the person who could shrink, fly, control minds, and stun people, as well as was immortal to old age was late. Final player arrived to discover they were on a dying planet, the atmosphere stripped from earth by the suction of an object running so fast that it propelled itself effectively instantly across space to Pluto... Yes, a TPK, by their own actions. I tried to get them to rethink their ideas, and I did try to get them to not do the race, they went ahead anyway. So, in informed the teleporter that since he thought slower then the runner, he lost the race by the time it took to think, and they both arrived and started to suffocate, the Runner, needing to breath collapsed as he turned to run back, his muscles freezing as the air was sucked from his body... the teleported also had the loss of air and freezing issue, but since he didn't need to move to use his power, he teleported back to Earth in time to die there instead from the scorched and disappearing atmosphere, and shockwaves...

    Yes, I admit, I am both at times far too permissive a GM, and at times a bit of a sadist, but I really do try to make my players have fun, and frequently find the challenge is my players don't seem to not work cohesively, and therefore they're usually doing more to screw one another over then anything I could ever do.

    ------------------------------

    Some of my odder players (names withheld, but actions detailed)

    Star Wars, the guy who kept going to the refresher and reading in there while the others tried to plan how to get the loot, kill the Hutt, find the hidden room, etc. (Guy literally did this 3 or 4 times, they'd enter the big scene, and he'd have his character run off to use the bathroom and read instead of helping... first time I gave him XP and laughed, every time after that I just looked at him funny, after so many times, I did actually have him find a bomb in there, yes, a real ticking explosive device, which I'll admit I did decide would not explode if he never went in there)

    The Vampire with Faith (Same guy with brain in the jar Cyborg, and who dive bombed the shopping center, guy plans like crazy... also, despite it being his friend who first fought and named Lucky, it is this guy who seems to have attained a personal grudge and nemesis relationship with the Luckiest Henchman), he wrote a major backstory, about how he was a clergy that was turned, and argued he would still believe in his deity, so I allowed it, whose actions... shortly after suicidal Ventrue took on the shifters, he actually confronted the shifters and vampires and, I quote, said, "Come my brothers and sisters, can't we all just get along!"

    The densest smart guy I know. The reason that Lucky and the other henchmen were confronted by only one player is because no other player in the game could take a hint to get together or even by themselves go check out the reason all the power in the city went out. This guy however, while the others chose not to go, actually tried to procrastinate and had to repeatedly have circumstances smacked over his head, so much so I will quote it:
    Me: The lights in your apartment go out.
    Player: I'll turn on my tv and check the news.
    Me: It doesn't come on.
    Player: I'll play my PS2 instead
    Me: It doesn't power up
    Player: I'll listen to my stereo
    Me: It seems to not have any power.
    Player: I'll go to my room and read a book
    Me: There is not enough light to see your book
    Player: I'll turn on the lamp by my bed
    Me: THERE IS NO POWER!
    Player: I'll go down to check the breakers
    Me: You find they're all fine
    Player: I'll go complain to the Superintendent. I'm going to rip him a new one, and he better fix the problem
    (Note: I was really a bit infuriated at the time, so the following was bad of me, but I decided on the fly to add an added mystery for later... which never got explored at all... *sigh* Also, I do get somewhat poetic at times, so please excuse the rhyming, but it was funny then, and is slightly now a running joke with our player group.)
    Me: You find he is dead... with a hole in his head... and everywhere there is red... so no more can be said.
    Player: Then I will go to bed.
    The guy with magnetism who reshaped a car into a giant sort of Washington Monument-like shape (if you get my drift) and then rammed it up a size manipulator's rear end (*shutter*)

    The size manipulator (who could not only alter his own size, but the size of anything he was in contact with) who decided to get revenge against the guy who seduced the supermodel they were both hitting on, but relieving his desirous 'frustrations' on the guy's convertible, and making the copious amout go from ounces into barrels worth (BTW, the car in the previous one was this one, but was not the Magnetism guy's)

    Um... same group, I'll just say one other guy got angry with the seducer guy and ripped a part of his anatomy off, then grafted it to the guy's forehead... this was a nasty group, which spawned many a nightmare... admittedly, I didn't play with any of the ones mentioned in this group (the trio after the quoted dense guy, who is a good friend, and while a bit egocentric, is usually a fun player, even if he is such a Diva at times) much before or after the campaign.

    The seducer... he built a superhero whose powers were to get with anyone and everyone... and that was pretty much it... I thought he was building to be a leader or manipulator, but he just wanted to sleep with all the NPCs and most of the PCs...
    Last edited by Sweet_Goddess; 2012-09-21 at 02:42 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    stuff
    Actually, the Darths and Droids DM (or GM, as the case may be), far from trying to screw them over, does a very good job of creating a campaign that PCs can enjoy and actively contribute to. He's not without his flaws, but he's certainly not a "killer dungeon master" either.

    As for the "advice", it's rarely meant to be entirely serious.

    So I don't think this really supports your point that good DMs should behave in petty and abusive ways towards their players.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    As for the "advice", it's rarely meant to be entirely serious.
    The portions in that post with the smileys probably weren't, either. I will side with the smileys this time.

    I still see a large difference in understanding of the mechanics of the spell, though. Also, the description Sweet Goddess gives of the power of the spell seems to make it probable that if you cast it twice in the same spot, you'd get the Mourneland from Eberron. Three times, you would get Dark Sun.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Actually, the Darths and Droids DM (or GM, as the case may be), far from trying to screw them over, does a very good job of creating a campaign that PCs can enjoy and actively contribute to. He's not without his flaws, but he's certainly not a "killer dungeon master" either.
    This. The "tips" in the strip annotations are officially not Darths and Droids canon, and as such their GM does a pretty good GMing job in my opinion.

    If anything, the DM for DM of the Rings (the inspiration for Darths and Droids) is a much better webcomic example of the "Killer Dungeon Master". He railroaded one of his first-level characters into getting attacked by about ten zillion (give or take a zillion) orcs just to see him die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    You forgot that the half-orc cleric who researched it is Redcloak's niece.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    1) Actually, the lousy ones laugh out loud, the experienced and high quality ones do only laugh on the inside.
    Phawww.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    3) Obviously you don't read Darths & Droids :) It teaches us that GMs/DMs/STs are inherently supposed to be out to screw their players any way possible :)
    I really hope you're just trolling/joking. Any good GM isn't out to get their players, they are either trying to tell a good story with the players involvement, or they are trying to just make a good setting within which a group of people can have a good time.

    Beware the dice? When I GM I roll all dice in the open, just as I ask/require all players to do. I got over the crap of "roll a pile of dice to make the players worry" so many years ago I can't recall. Middle-school, perhaps. If a GM needs a crutch such as this, they are a failure. There are so many other ways for a GM to invoke suspense than rolling a pile of dice for no reason, or even for some reason. All rolling a bunch of needless dice rolls does is to encourage the players to react to them in an out of character way. This only slows play, and interferes with the real action which the GM should have in mind.

    And again: Any GM who feels so threatened by a players choice of spell selection that they feel the need to set that player up to have their character destroyed, well, that GM is a complete and utter failure. They should either just ban that spell in question, or have a chat with the player about the ramifications that the GM sees concerning that spell. Communication, it's not just for NPCs anymore!
    Last edited by Stella; 2012-09-21 at 02:47 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    This. The "tips" in the strip annotations are officially not Darths and Droids canon, and as such their GM does a pretty good GMing job in my opinion.

    If anything, the DM for DM of the Rings (the inspiration for Darths and Droids) is a much better webcomic example of the "Killer Dungeon Master". He railroaded one of his first-level characters into getting attacked by about ten zillion (give or take a zillion) orcs just to see him die.
    Okay, admittedly picking nits here, but no matter how many zillion you get attacked by, it is still 0 :) Zillion is literally is 0 number places, ie. it isn't even 1, so it is 0.

    BTW, guys responded while I was editing my own post with some examples in my own GM/DM/Storytelling defense :) So, feel free to rake me over the coals for what I actually did and allowed :)

    ---------------

    Side note: I recently had the pleasure of being an outside observer to the Cyborg/Divebomber/Vampire-with-Faith player trying to run his own campaign, including the Dense Player and his long time friend as well as a rookie roleplayer, and a major power-gamer he should have known would be trouble from the D&D Campaign I'd run with all of them (minus the rookie) only a few months before. The system they used was Silver Age Sentinals, and I even helped out by making some NPCs so he wouldn't be so burdened by his first go at running a campaign of his own. (Note: I even made a team with Lucky in it for him to use, based off the Leverage Team, with Lucky acting sort of as the 6th member, the Shooter, so he could have the chance to use or even abuse Lucky if he wanted, and perhaps get some catharsis). As I stated before, this guy is a planner, and he spent weeks while getting the players to each make their character, planning the path the campaign would take. Sufficed to say, less then 5 minutes in and most of them had gone so far off the tracks that he had to throw out everything besides the NPCs I made for him, and most of the first session was the Power Gamer fighting against the others... from what I heard, the second session was only slightly better. Session 3 with the NPC I made to be an Anti-Power Gamer's PC never happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Phawww.
    I really hope you're just trolling/joking. Any good GM isn't out to get their players, they are either trying to tell a good story with the players involvement, or they are trying to just make a good setting within which a group of people can have a good time.

    Beware the dice? When I GM I roll all dice in the open, just as I ask/require all players to do. I got over the crap of "roll a pile of dice to make the players worry" so many years ago I can't recall. Middle-school, perhaps. If a GM needs a crutch such as this, they are a failure. There are so many other ways for a GM to invoke suspense than rolling a pile of dice for no reason, or even for some reason. All rolling a bunch of needless dice rolls does is to encourage the players to react to them in an out of character way. This only slows play, and interferes with the real action which the GM should have in mind.

    And again: Any GM who feels so threatened by a players choice of spell selection that they feel the need to set that player up to have their character destroyed, well, that GM is a complete and utter failure. They should either just ban that spell in question, or have a chat with the player about the ramifications that the GM sees concerning that spell. Communication, it's not just for NPCs anymore!
    Sort of... I do tend to find that Darths & Droids has some valid points. Planning is usually pointless, inevitably if you give players a fork in the road with two or even 9 paths, they'll still decide to go off into the brush, or leave the path, or dig straight down, or sit perfectly still and not go anywhere at all. If players can do something stupid, crazy, brilliant but unexpected, or otherwise completely perplexing, they will.

    Arguably, three or four of my earliest regular players were lied to by a third, that he invented roleplaying, and so I had to teach them that not every game starts with "You wake up under a tree", so much so, that I actually lampooned it frequently, but no more so then the following.

    (Poor Planner, he really is creative, and yet here is one rare example where I did sort of intentionally mess with him. He created an ancient amoeba like being as his character that could consume almost any matter and create/replicate any matter he'd consumed, among other cosmic abilities. The following is the quoted intro)

    Me: You wake up under a tree
    Planner: I'll look around
    Me: You see rocks, roots, and dirt.
    Planner: Wait... What?
    Me: You woke up under a tree.
    Planner: Oh *BLEEP*, that is messed up. How deep am I?
    Me: You did say you were ancient... but you're sort of lucky, used to be an ocean, so now you're just a few feet down.
    Planner: Fine, I'll eat the roots, rocks, and dirt.
    Me: You find yourself in the middle of a little park in the downtown of a city, you recognize nothing. There is a cloth on the ground with white disk shaped things on it piled with tan disk shaped things atop them, and a pair of bipeds scurrying away.
    Planner: I'll consume the disks and cloth.
    Me: The white disks are rigid and bland, but the brown disks are sweet and fluffy. A quadrupedal being comes up, raises a leg, and sprays a liquid on you.
    Planner: I will consume it too
    Me: The bipeds start emitting noises and seem to attract a large quadruped with a biped atop it.
    Planner: I will consume the large quadruped.
    Me: The Biped atop it brandishes some object at you
    Planner: I will try to reach out and absorb knowledge of the bipeds communication and thinking processes.
    Me: You now understand them, the 'people' are yelling to the 'cop' that you ate their pancakes and their dog. The cop is freaked out that you ate his horse.
    Planner: I will recreate the dog and horse out of pancakes.
    (I had to regain my breath, I was laughing so hard... guy is hysterical at times. I may torture him at times with the returns of Lucky, but he is an awesome player... scary brilliant, and always keeps me on my toes)

    -------------------------------

    As for threatened by spell selection, no you mistake threatened by with thinking selecting some spells is counterproductive or foolish. Most spells have a purposes, but some spells are there only so the DM can say, "hey, this exists, the villain knows how to use it, cause he is a scorched earth kind of guy."

    Certain things players can get, but they really shouldn't. Let's use Phineus an Ferb as an odd example, Dr. Doofenschmirtz keeps putting self-destruct buttons in everything... why? He's a villain, so he does... it makes no sense, but he does it anyway. Mage's Disjunction in my opinion is like a Self-Destruct button, it isn't something heroes should have on them, they shouldn't want to have one, but a villain will have it so they can screw with the heroes, and perhaps deprive the heroes of getting the awesome magic items the villain had. A player saying they want to have a way to screw the enemy, the party, and themself seems foolish to me, and I would suggest to them against it, but if they go through with it, I'm not going to stop them. Meanwhile I might set up something that can benefit or harm them if they use it (ie. the artifacts being attracted to the level 18+ party members, which might help the party if they get them, but if the player uses the MDJ and self-destructs the team, then it has a chance to harm them. 18+% vs 5+ Artifacts... 1 for every party member and major companion so I'm not playing favorites, means 1 or more is likely to go boom, then will save, then 1 in 20 per artifact that went boom summons a being of major power... that is major trouble for a team that just also lost all this magical equipment, and possibly the spellcaster who caused its power.)
    Last edited by Sweet_Goddess; 2012-09-21 at 03:40 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Screwing with PCs who are trying to actively abuse the system is totally okay in my book. But believe it or not, not all players try to do so.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet_Goddess View Post
    You seriously want to risk becoming the Wizard/Sorcerer equivalent of a Fallen Paladin? All a DM has to do is put a few hidden artifacts in range, you cast your spell which hurts your allies magic items as much as your enemies, and you end up risking losing all your spellcasting abilities FOREVER... Wish and Miracle can't even restore them. So now you're a Level 18+ target, basically free experience since you can't do almost anything anymore. MDJ is a DM Fiat Spell, it is only viable as a last ditch nuke to f-over the entire party when you don't want to say "Rocks Fall"

    Any DM that is letting you choose it is secretly laughing on the inside, waiting for you to use it and screw your party and yourself. I'd literally decide the moment a player learned that spell that an several invisible intelligent artifacts with weak saves has been drawn to the party and are following them in hopes of bonding with some of the members... Might even drop hints, and the moment you cast that spell, all the artifacts that failed their saves would be sending out backlash to strip you of your spellcasting, and since you destroyed most if not all your party's magical items and weapons magic, you basically have crippled the party, and of course the party will know... it will have been all your fault.

    And then for each destroyed artifact I'd roll a d20 to see if some powerful beings who each have an interest in or connection with each of the artifacts is attracted by its destruction (rules say 95% chance, so only on all 20s will no being show up, so for each destroyed artifact that a 20 is not rolled a being will show up). If they beings don't kill you and the party, your party will kill you afterwards.
    I'm glad you mentioned the threat of destroying an artifact and then 1) risking losing all spellcasting abilities (a worse fate at 17th level than simply dying) and 2) risking drawing the attention of something that kills the whole party so that nobody's left to resurrect anyone (making death about as bad as losing all spellcasting abilities ).

    I wouldn't go so far as to deliberately harm the party for learning the spell. I mean just as I tell my students that attending class is its own reward (which is why I oppose my university's new policy of forcing attendance at our seminars), so too is using MDJ its own punishment, destroying the bad guy's treasure (and probably some of the party's as well).


    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    Artifacts do not grow on trees, but 17th+ level PCs fight enemies who may well own one.

    The obvious downside is you may be destroying the most useful loot. It is not a very good habit, and it will not win you friends.
    The party in my campaign got ahold of a hammer of thunderbolts at maybe around 10th level. An NPC ghost cleric of Jupiter was really supposed to get rid of the evil high priest of Lei Kung with a talisman of pure good, but the high priest kept making his saving throw and some lucky iajutsu under 3.0 rules allowed a PC and his NPC cousin (both of my campaign's nindurai class, sort of like a cross between a kensai and a samurai) to mess up the high priest pretty badly. When the high priest swept way most of the party with a whirlwind, the PC nindurai made his saving throw and finished slicing up the high priest before he could heal himself. The party's cleric of Thor took the I]hammer of thunderbolts[/I], and I don't think that any of the party's arcane casters would want to risk losing spellcasting abilities both the wrath of Thor or Lei Kung (or both) just to dispel some buffs.


    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    This seems... crazy to me.



    You can place the burst further than 40 feet away from the party to save their magic items. I'm not saying people will never try to cast it closer, but a wizard should know better, yes?

    Regardless of distance, destroying an unknown artifact is a risk to the caster, granted. Perhaps, later, the party, though I am having some difficulty in locating rules for destroying minor artifacts, while major artifacts are suggested to have specific means of destruction. Anyway, the risk is roughly 1 in 5 for any given casting affecting any given minor artifact in a non-epic campaign, and even the beginning of some epic level ones. Or are you saying you would choose, as a DM, to just waive that percentage chance? Would you have the artifacts purposely fail the saving throws? Would you add 10 or 20 to the save DC for a character who most likely has a good Will save progression? If any of that is the case... how much do you hate your players? Is the offending spellcaster PC a Kender?

    The rule is in the description of MDJ:

    All magical effects and magic items within the radius of the spell, except for those that you carry or touch, are disjoined. That is, spells and spell-like effects are separated into their individual components (ending the effect as a dispel magic spell does), and each permanent magic item must make a successful Will save or be turned into a normal item. An item in a creature’s possession uses its own Will save bonus or its possessor’s Will save bonus, whichever is higher.

    You also have a 1% chance per caster level of destroying an antimagic field. If the antimagic field survives the disjunction, no items within it are disjoined.

    Even artifacts are subject to disjunction, though there is only a 1% chance per caster level of actually affecting such powerful items. Additionally, if an artifact is destroyed, you must make a DC 25 Will save or permanently lose all spellcasting abilities. (These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even miracle or wish.)

    Note: Destroying artifacts is a dangerous business, and it is 95% likely to attract the attention of some powerful being who has an interest in or connection with the device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Phawww.
    I really hope you're just trolling/joking. Any good GM isn't out to get their players, they are either trying to tell a good story with the players involvement, or they are trying to just make a good setting within which a group of people can have a good time.

    Beware the dice? When I GM I roll all dice in the open, just as I ask/require all players to do. I got over the crap of "roll a pile of dice to make the players worry" so many years ago I can't recall. Middle-school, perhaps. If a GM needs a crutch such as this, they are a failure. There are so many other ways for a GM to invoke suspense than rolling a pile of dice for no reason, or even for some reason. All rolling a bunch of needless dice rolls does is to encourage the players to react to them in an out of character way. This only slows play, and interferes with the real action which the GM should have in mind.

    And again: Any GM who feels so threatened by a players choice of spell selection that they feel the need to set that player up to have their character destroyed, well, that GM is a complete and utter failure. They should either just ban that spell in question, or have a chat with the player about the ramifications that the GM sees concerning that spell. Communication, it's not just for NPCs anymore!
    I agree. My game involves cooperation between the DM and players to tell a good story and have everyone enjoy themselves. That's probably why my campaign has continued for 10 years. Recently I've been in three different groups that didn't last more than a couple of months each. In one case the DM was trying to change the game into a True Blood came where we were all cool not-evil vampires, which nobody wanted to be, and in the other two cases two different players just didn't seem to be able to enjoy the game unless they were ruining it for everyone else. In one case the player was an uber-power-gamer-munchkin-gloating-useless-liar, and in the other case the player was a "I can't tumble with a big stick in real life so you shouldn't be able to do it in the game either" whiner.
    Last edited by CelestialStick; 2012-09-21 at 05:47 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Beware the dice? When I GM I roll all dice in the open, just as I ask/require all players to do. I got over the crap of "roll a pile of dice to make the players worry" so many years ago I can't recall. Middle-school, perhaps. If a GM needs a crutch such as this, they are a failure. There are so many other ways for a GM to invoke suspense than rolling a pile of dice for no reason, or even for some reason. All rolling a bunch of needless dice rolls does is to encourage the players to react to them in an out of character way. This only slows play, and interferes with the real action which the GM should have in mind.
    I disagree, I think having the DM's dice rolls hidden (so the DM announces the result of the players' rolls without them knowing what the difficulty was) makes it more realistic and helps everyone stay in character in terms of thinking/strategy.

    In real life, you usually don't know the exact difficulty of the stuff you're up against...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    I disagree, I think having the DM's dice rolls hidden (so the DM announces the result of the players' rolls without them knowing what the difficulty was) makes it more realistic and helps everyone stay in character in terms of thinking/strategy.

    In real life, you usually don't know the exact difficulty of the stuff you're up against...
    I keep the die rolls secret too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    1) Tarquin's power (like most melee types in D&D) is in his items, Xykon can destroy every single one of them without a Save in one Standard Action with MDJ. Then move onto hitting him with Magic Missile from 100ft up in the air until he gets bored.
    Neat, in MY copy of the SRD has the following about items "each permanent magic item must make a successful Will save or be turned into a normal item. An item in a creature’s possession uses its own Will save bonus or its possessor’s Will save bonus, whichever is higher."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialStick View Post
    The rule is in the description of MDJ:
    I misinterpreted Sweet Goddess's use of the word "backlash" as involving some sort of damage as well. Superb dispelling uses the phrase "backlash damage" and I had just read that shortly before, in one of your posts.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    I misinterpreted Sweet Goddess's use of the word "backlash" as involving some sort of damage as well. Superb dispelling uses the phrase "backlash damage" and I had just read that shortly before, in one of your posts.
    Oh! You're probably referring to the backlash damage to the caster of a superb dispelling. The spell development includes the caster taking 10d6 points of backlash damage each time he or she casts superb dispelling in return for lowing the development DC by 10 points.
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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Taking another look at the topic comic page, in panel 11 Zz'dtri is flying without having cast a spell. Whether it is fly or overland flight cast earlier or something else... it makes me wonder, "Why wouldn't Zz'dtri have been flying inside of the pyramid?" The only thing I can think of so far is if it's dispelled you'll fall prone, but that doesn't happen with overland flight nor the 3.0 version of the fly spell; with either of those you just float to the ground unless you're over 60 feet above it and unlucky on the die roll. Is there something I'm missing? Is the lack of the ability to run while flying that important?

    ETA: Kilkil and Sabine both were flying, so there was enough room to do so.
    Last edited by KillingAScarab; 2012-09-23 at 03:24 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    Taking another look at the topic comic page, in panel 11 Zz'dtri is flying without having cast a spell. Whether it is fly or overland flight cast earlier or something else... it makes me wonder, "Why wouldn't Zz'dtri have been flying inside of the pyramid?" The only thing I can think of so far is if it's dispelled you'll fall prone, but that doesn't happen with overland flight nor the 3.0 version of the fly spell; with either of those you just float to the ground unless you're over 60 feet above it and unlucky on the die roll. Is there something I'm missing? Is the lack of the ability to run while flying that important?

    ETA: Kilkil and Sabine both were flying, so there was enough room to do so.
    I'm gonna guess Zz'dtri has Overland Flight, but was staying grounded for cover. In the air, he's an easy target; on the ground, he's behind the mummies and Nale.

    Why are the others flying in spite of that? Sabine's damage resistance will likely keep her safe. As for Kilkil, I have begun to suspect his legs don't work, like, at all. I don't think we've ever seen his feet on the ground.

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    Default Re: OOTS #863 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KillingAScarab View Post
    Taking another look at the topic comic page, in panel 11 Zz'dtri is flying without having cast a spell. Whether it is fly or overland flight cast earlier or something else... it makes me wonder, "Why wouldn't Zz'dtri have been flying inside of the pyramid?" The only thing I can think of so far is if it's dispelled you'll fall prone, but that doesn't happen with overland flight nor the 3.0 version of the fly spell; with either of those you just float to the ground unless you're over 60 feet above it and unlucky on the die roll. Is there something I'm missing? Is the lack of the ability to run while flying that important?

    ETA: Kilkil and Sabine both were flying, so there was enough room to do so.
    I didn't notice that, and I am not sure why. I mean, he knew there are many traps in the corridor which are triggered by stepping on them, so flying some inches above ground would be a very good idea.
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