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Thread: Birth of a God.

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    Default Re: Birth of a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    From the sounds of it, I hope you guys like killing multiple eldritch abominations at the same time.
    Eh, it's an interesting minor diversion for most T1 classes. Clerics, in particular, find it more tedium than challenging. Divine Spellpower + Holy Word = win.
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    Default Re: Birth of a God.

    Provided said eldritch abomination wasn't built similarly to an Elder Evil. In which case, screw your divine powers. No seriously. And your god's powers while their at it. :P Also, if any encounter provided for the PCs is "tedious" rather than challenging, then the DM is clearly doing something wrong.
    Last edited by Black Cross; 2012-10-08 at 03:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Birth of a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cross View Post
    Provided said eldritch abomination wasn't built similarly to an Elder Evil. In which case, screw your divine powers. No seriously. And your god's powers while their at it. :P Also, if any encounter provided for the PCs is "tedious" rather than challenging, then the DM is clearly doing something wrong.
    Evil Extraplanar Outsider + Holy Word = Buh-bye. Banishment FTW.

    Do not pass go, do not make a saving throw, do not collect $200. Have a nice day, back in R'hylea where you belong.

    Also Killed, Blinded, Deafened, and Paralyzed, but those are minor compared with booting you out of the Prime.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2012-10-08 at 12:32 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
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    Yeah, because all evil extraplanar outsiders are behaving as if a bad videogame AI controlled them, and not the DM, who may be as well-versed in optimization as you are.

    There are lots of ways around this particular trick. I don't doubt your ability to come up with more tricks, but killing DvR 10 creatures is by no means easy or tedious if the DM knows what he is doing as well as you do.
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    Gonna hop in here right quick and say something about this bit on holy word being useful in such a situation. Given how I've fluffed the Elder and Eldritch beings of primordial existence before time and space in my setting, they're not bound by the alignment axis and, as such, just look at such things with an amused smirk.

    'Table trumps text,' and so on. Personally, I think it is to their benefit anyway as they are supposed to work in ways that are strange and alien to mortals and those of similar mind. Actually makes them.. Well, inscrutable and strange rather than just a block of stats.

    Theory crafting is fine and fun and all, yes, but sometimes it seems to be forgotten that the 'rules' and such are more akin to guidelines subject to the whims of the group playing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terumitsu View Post
    Gonna hop in here right quick and say something about this bit on holy word being useful in such a situation. Given how I've fluffed the Elder and Eldritch beings of primordial existence before time and space in my setting, they're not bound by the alignment axis and, as such, just look at such things with an amused smirk.

    'Table trumps text,' and so on. Personally, I think it is to their benefit anyway as they are supposed to work in ways that are strange and alien to mortals and those of similar mind. Actually makes them.. Well, inscrutable and strange rather than just a block of stats.

    Theory crafting is fine and fun and all, yes, but sometimes it seems to be forgotten that the 'rules' and such are more akin to guidelines subject to the whims of the group playing.
    I don't know if there was any "Bite" to that, but I got a nice grin out of reading it.

    It doesn't sound like a bad idea to make Eldritch Abominations "Alignmentless" which, by all means, throws half a cleric's ideas out the window.

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    I'm very curios to know what class and stuff the guy was who summoned pure and raw myth into reality. This sounds like something i'd really like to get to know. Also, what table was this or was it all homebrew? This could be very fun for a game I have running right now. Although, it's strictly PF

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    He was playing a Binder from the Tome of Magic.

    The 'Random Bindings' table, though, is all strictly homebrew. Was a list of things from across the spectrum although the last five were eldritch horrors in which I threw in there just for fun. I basically set it up as a way to get some interesting new bindings if he didn't want to go through the entire process of making a new one in a manner similar to researching a new spell or something.

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    Ah. Ok. That makes me sad. Ill look into converting it into a pf class

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    I don't know if there was any "Bite" to that, but I got a nice grin out of reading it.

    It doesn't sound like a bad idea to make Eldritch Abominations "Alignmentless" which, by all means, throws half a cleric's ideas out the window.
    Banishment spell works as well. Not automatic, but you can make the contested check effectively impossible with Divine Spellpower + Cracksticks. Doesn't kill him, but it removes him as a problem.

    Kill Cthulu? Even easier. See also: Mailman. See also: Stuffy doll exercise. Eat an arbitrary amount of damage until you simply fall over. Or Titan/Solar Gate Chain (I don't think the Solars would be upset for being infini-summoned to combat an Elder God bent on destroying the whole mythos). Or Ice Assassins.

    The problem with Lovecraftian Mythos in D&D is that in Lovecraftian mythos, you aren't powerful enough to kill deities. In fact, you aren't powerful enough to survive a run-in with a single cultist. In D&D, dieticide can be an amusing pastime by about level 10.

    Cthulhu: "I can kill GODS!"

    Any T1 class: "Phhth, is that all? Come on, I thought you said you were a challenge"

    C: I can drive you insane!

    T1: I'm an omnicidal hobo who gains power by ruthlessly slaughtering my opponents. I think I'm pretty much beyond that by now.

    C: Well, I can warp reality itself!

    T1: Old hat.

    C: But... but...

    T1: Let's face it, you've been replaced. I'm far scarier, more insane, more powerful, and in general, more of a threat to reality than you are.

    C: *cries in a corner*
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    Default Re: Birth of a God.

    I hate when this kind of thing comes up, mostly because I dislike having to point out something that should be quite clear to experienced players. Elder evils are, to be sure, potent beings of evil. However, they're typically fairly low in CR for purposes of challenging parties. Additionally, they typically take forms like aspects or avatars. There are no actual rules that allow for a party to ever truly face the full power of such an entity. (Unless you lose; in which case, the "rules consist of everyone pretty much getting screwed to some degree or another.) Even with the scale down, these tiny fragments of evil are still a bane to divine casters. When taking into perspective the true power of a Great Old One, we equate it more to the full power of an elder evil rather than what the party actually faces. For purposes of this example, I'll use the elder evil I consider to be my personal favorite: Pandorym.

    First, lets go over the ways he slowly cripples your divine casters as his presence becomes known, as well as when you have to face him:

    Spoiler
    Show

    SIGN: SEAL OF BINDING

    This sign manifests as a glyph that spreads across the sky and increasingly
    interferes with planar communication and transportation.
    Faint: Conjuration (calling, summoning, and teleportation)
    and divination spells and similar spell-like abilities are impeded,
    meaning that a caster must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20
    + the level of the spell) or lose the spell or spell slot without effect.
    In addition, spells that forcibly return creatures to their native
    plane, such as banishment and dismissal, automatically fail.

    Moderate: As faint, but in addition, summoned creatures no
    longer return to their native planes. When a summoning spell’s
    duration expires, the summoned creature is no longer under the
    caster’s control.
    Divine spellcasters have difficulty drawing on the Positive
    Energy and Negative Energy planes, and they cannot communicate
    easily with their deities. Divine spells are cast at –1 caster
    level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –5 penalty on the check
    and damage rolls.

    Strong: As moderate, but in addition, a conjuration (teleportation)
    spell or similar spell-like ability has a 20% chance of a
    mishap (see teleport, PH 293), regardless of familiarity with the
    destination. The spell fails, and the caster and all others affected
    by the casting each take 5d6 points of damage.
    The connection with the transitive planes and the Outer
    Planes grows more tenuous. Divine spells are cast at –2 caster
    level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –10 penalty on the
    check and damage rolls.

    Overwhelming: All conjuration (calling, summoning, and
    teleportation) effects cease to function. Divination effects that
    contact extraplanar beings (such as commune and contact other
    plane) are likewise foiled. Divine spellcasters attempting to
    replenish their spells for the day incur a 20% chance per spell
    of not gaining the spell or spell slot. Divine spells are cast at –4
    caster level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –20 penalty on
    the check and damage rolls.
    -----------------
    Then there's:
    Divine Enervation (Su): All divine spellcasters lose the ability
    to regain spells so long as they remain within 1,000 miles
    of a mind shard of Pandorym. This interdiction does not
    interfere with spellcasting.

    Divinity Siphon (Su): As a standard action, a mind shard of
    Pandorym can form a siphoning bond with a creature
    within 90 feet that can cast divine spells or has a divine
    caster level of at least 1st. The caster must make a DC 48
    Will save to resist this ability. If the bond is established,
    the caster gains 1d4 negative levels per round. For each
    negative level the caster gains, the mind shard heals 20
    hit points. The bond lasts for up to 10 rounds, or until the
    mind shard breaks it or the caster dies. A caster who receives
    as many negative levels as Hit Dice dies and rises
    as a dread wraith in the following round.
    A mind shard can have only one siphoning bond active
    at a time. Maintaining a bond requires no effort.

    Anathematic Secrecy (Su): A mind shard of Pandorym is immune
    to all divine divination spell effects.

    Also, we have his Elder Evil immunities.

    Immunities (Ex): Elder evils have immunity to polymorphing,
    petrification, and any other spell or ability that alters their
    form. They are not subject to energy drain, ability drain, ability
    damage, or death from massive damage. They are immune to
    mind-affecting spells and abilities. Most elder evils have immunity
    to a specific energy type, depending on their nature.

    He also has non-detection as cast by a 20th level caster, so there's that to keep you from sniffing him out.


    Next, let's take a peek at the big bad "himself". What you actually end up fighting is NOT Pandorym himself, or even the full brunt of his consciousness. What you actually fight is just a tiny fragment of his mind. Essentially, you are doing battle with, "You know, I never realized how much I like cheese." I'm not saying Pandorym does or does not like cheese, merely that this type of fleeting thought that oozes out of the crystal is CR 25... Oh, and did I mention that, "Did I remember my keys," has 50HD? I should have; it's kind of important.

    Extrasolar eldritch abominations of the magnitude of a Great Old One are on the same level of power as Pandorym's unified body and mind. Given that they themselves qualify as Elder Evils, they eat your divine casters and crap them out into a corner to watch as the Lovecraftian horror creams the rest of your party. That is, unless you brought a wizard to the fight. Even at that point, you're not facing some puny aspect of a greater being; you're actually skipping the middle man and going right to facing the greater being.

    If you have a competent DM sitting in the chair, you're NEVER going to just steamroll an encounter. The only trouble is centered in the fact that, if you build an encounter to specifically withstand awesome casters, you'll typically end up benching the melee brutes. Not saying they can't contribute at all, but they'll more or less be useful in the same way that a napkin is useful. Thus, unless you've got a gished out party and/or have dipped heavily into the Velveeta, no. Just no.

    As for your banishment idea:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Body: Pandorym’s physical component does not truly exist as a body in the multiverse but is a conduit to the incomprehensible reality of its home. It manifests as a 30-foot-diameter sphere of annihilation (DMG 279), but no being—not even a deity—can control it, even using a talisman of the sphere. Any attempt to control the Gargantuan orb instead causes it to slide 90 feet toward the creature. Touching the entity with a rod of cancellation destroys the rod and causes Pandorym’s nonbody to slide into the square
    from which the rod touched it. With the seal of binding sign in effect, spells that force an extraplanar creature away do not affect Pandorym. However, a gate spell cast on it has a 5% chance of sending it back to its transdimensional prison (nothing happens otherwise).
    Like a sphere of annihilation, Pandorym’s non body destroys everything it touches, aside from deities.
    The ancient wizards hid Pandorym’s body in a secret location in a distant part of the kingdom, far from the crystalline prison that holds its mind.


    Pandorym does not approve, and you can't even USE gate when the Overwhelming sign is in effect. Thus, there goes your Titan/Solar gate idea. Besides, he's the only real printed encounter that pretty much states that, if you lose, it's game over, there are no survivors, everyone is obliterated, and this "universe" is no more.

    Now, please stop attempting to crush the DMs (and, by proxy, our) fun. When I want a challenge, I play D&D with my group (or play the original NES Ninja Gaiden or XCom, whichever strikes my fancy) because we have a competent set of DMs who know how to challenge their players. If I want to just walk over things with no regard to my personal safety, I go play a videogame that has a god-mode option (or God of War, because why not).
    Last edited by Black Cross; 2012-10-09 at 06:14 AM.
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    Originally posted by Duboris (via PM):
    You're my new favorite person.

    Congratulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cross View Post
    Stuff
    You know, I was going to spend a few sentences pointing out to Shneekey that he obviously either glossed over the phrase "Elder Evil," or has not read the book of that name to know that such a being generally comes pre-packaged with its own unique variety of "(Su): Screw your puny magic. Especially divine magic. Seriously, if your DM even let you play a cleric in this campaign then you should smack him upside the head with the PHB." But a full breakdown of the toughest one in the book works too.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-10-09 at 06:55 AM.
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    So... Teru, did either you or Zamori figure out racial traits for the squidbillies that Hakon/Azathoth/Cthulu created? Also, have we figured out the divine traits for our level 8 (lol) lesser deity?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Gygax;
    The one rule we should never let the DM's know is that their campaign needs no rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cross View Post
    I hate when this kind of thing comes up, mostly because I dislike having to point out something that should be quite clear to experienced players. Elder evils are, to be sure, potent beings of evil. However, they're typically fairly low in CR for purposes of challenging parties. Additionally, they typically take forms like aspects or avatars. There are no actual rules that allow for a party to ever truly face the full power of such an entity. (Unless you lose; in which case, the "rules consist of everyone pretty much getting screwed to some degree or another.) Even with the scale down, these tiny fragments of evil are still a bane to divine casters. When taking into perspective the true power of a Great Old One, we equate it more to the full power of an elder evil rather than what the party actually faces. For purposes of this example, I'll use the elder evil I consider to be my personal favorite: Pandorym.

    First, lets go over the ways he slowly cripples your divine casters as his presence becomes known, as well as when you have to face him:

    Spoiler
    Show

    SIGN: SEAL OF BINDING

    This sign manifests as a glyph that spreads across the sky and increasingly
    interferes with planar communication and transportation.
    Faint: Conjuration (calling, summoning, and teleportation)
    and divination spells and similar spell-like abilities are impeded,
    meaning that a caster must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20
    + the level of the spell) or lose the spell or spell slot without effect.
    In addition, spells that forcibly return creatures to their native
    plane, such as banishment and dismissal, automatically fail.

    Moderate: As faint, but in addition, summoned creatures no
    longer return to their native planes. When a summoning spell’s
    duration expires, the summoned creature is no longer under the
    caster’s control.
    Divine spellcasters have difficulty drawing on the Positive
    Energy and Negative Energy planes, and they cannot communicate
    easily with their deities. Divine spells are cast at –1 caster
    level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –5 penalty on the check
    and damage rolls.

    Strong: As moderate, but in addition, a conjuration (teleportation)
    spell or similar spell-like ability has a 20% chance of a
    mishap (see teleport, PH 293), regardless of familiarity with the
    destination. The spell fails, and the caster and all others affected
    by the casting each take 5d6 points of damage.
    The connection with the transitive planes and the Outer
    Planes grows more tenuous. Divine spells are cast at –2 caster
    level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –10 penalty on the
    check and damage rolls.

    Overwhelming: All conjuration (calling, summoning, and
    teleportation) effects cease to function. Divination effects that
    contact extraplanar beings (such as commune and contact other
    plane) are likewise foiled. Divine spellcasters attempting to
    replenish their spells for the day incur a 20% chance per spell
    of not gaining the spell or spell slot. Divine spells are cast at –4
    caster level, and turn or rebuke attempts take a –20 penalty on
    the check and damage rolls.
    -----------------
    Then there's:
    Divine Enervation (Su): All divine spellcasters lose the ability
    to regain spells so long as they remain within 1,000 miles
    of a mind shard of Pandorym. This interdiction does not
    interfere with spellcasting.

    Divinity Siphon (Su): As a standard action, a mind shard of
    Pandorym can form a siphoning bond with a creature
    within 90 feet that can cast divine spells or has a divine
    caster level of at least 1st. The caster must make a DC 48
    Will save to resist this ability. If the bond is established,
    the caster gains 1d4 negative levels per round. For each
    negative level the caster gains, the mind shard heals 20
    hit points. The bond lasts for up to 10 rounds, or until the
    mind shard breaks it or the caster dies. A caster who receives
    as many negative levels as Hit Dice dies and rises
    as a dread wraith in the following round.
    A mind shard can have only one siphoning bond active
    at a time. Maintaining a bond requires no effort.

    Anathematic Secrecy (Su): A mind shard of Pandorym is immune
    to all divine divination spell effects.

    Also, we have his Elder Evil immunities.

    Immunities (Ex): Elder evils have immunity to polymorphing,
    petrification, and any other spell or ability that alters their
    form. They are not subject to energy drain, ability drain, ability
    damage, or death from massive damage. They are immune to
    mind-affecting spells and abilities. Most elder evils have immunity
    to a specific energy type, depending on their nature.

    He also has non-detection as cast by a 20th level caster, so there's that to keep you from sniffing him out.


    Next, let's take a peek at the big bad "himself". What you actually end up fighting is NOT Pandorym himself, or even the full brunt of his consciousness. What you actually fight is just a tiny fragment of his mind. Essentially, you are doing battle with, "You know, I never realized how much I like cheese." I'm not saying Pandorym does or does not like cheese, merely that this type of fleeting thought that oozes out of the crystal is CR 25... Oh, and did I mention that, "Did I remember my keys," has 50HD? I should have; it's kind of important.

    Extrasolar eldritch abominations of the magnitude of a Great Old One are on the same level of power as Pandorym's unified body and mind. Given that they themselves qualify as Elder Evils, they eat your divine casters and crap them out into a corner to watch as the Lovecraftian horror creams the rest of your party. That is, unless you brought a wizard to the fight. Even at that point, you're not facing some puny aspect of a greater being; you're actually skipping the middle man and going right to facing the greater being.

    If you have a competent DM sitting in the chair, you're NEVER going to just steamroll an encounter. The only trouble is centered in the fact that, if you build an encounter to specifically withstand awesome casters, you'll typically end up benching the melee brutes. Not saying they can't contribute at all, but they'll more or less be useful in the same way that a napkin is useful. Thus, unless you've got a gished out party and/or have dipped heavily into the Velveeta, no. Just no.

    As for your banishment idea:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Body: Pandorym’s physical component does not truly exist as a body in the multiverse but is a conduit to the incomprehensible reality of its home. It manifests as a 30-foot-diameter sphere of annihilation (DMG 279), but no being—not even a deity—can control it, even using a talisman of the sphere. Any attempt to control the Gargantuan orb instead causes it to slide 90 feet toward the creature. Touching the entity with a rod of cancellation destroys the rod and causes Pandorym’s nonbody to slide into the square
    from which the rod touched it. With the seal of binding sign in effect, spells that force an extraplanar creature away do not affect Pandorym. However, a gate spell cast on it has a 5% chance of sending it back to its transdimensional prison (nothing happens otherwise).
    Like a sphere of annihilation, Pandorym’s non body destroys everything it touches, aside from deities.
    The ancient wizards hid Pandorym’s body in a secret location in a distant part of the kingdom, far from the crystalline prison that holds its mind.


    Pandorym does not approve, and you can't even USE gate when the Overwhelming sign is in effect. Thus, there goes your Titan/Solar gate idea. Besides, he's the only real printed encounter that pretty much states that, if you lose, it's game over, there are no survivors, everyone is obliterated, and this "universe" is no more.

    Now, please stop attempting to crush the DMs (and, by proxy, our) fun. When I want a challenge, I play D&D with my group (or play the original NES Ninja Gaiden or XCom, whichever strikes my fancy) because we have a competent set of DMs who know how to challenge their players. If I want to just walk over things with no regard to my personal safety, I go play a videogame that has a god-mode option (or God of War, because why not).
    Again, a trivial challenge. You -really- should hop over to the Stuffy Doll challenge thread to have an idea of what a T1 character can pull off.

    I'm not trying to ruin anyone's fun, I'm trying to point out how absolutely silly it is to try and run a horror genre game of any flavor in D&D. The mechanics of D&D is set up for 'yes you can', while any horror genre should have rules set up along the lines of 'no you can't'.

    Any of the base classes (yes, even the Monk) are horridly overpowered for a proper horror genre game. The rules and mechanics simply favor being able to kill literally anything, because that's generally what PC's do.

    In a classic horror genre game, your main character isn't going to be a cleric able to call down miracles or wizards capable of re-writing reality. If anything, these are the antagonists... crazed cultist priests capable of warping reality with the power of elder beings or arcane wizards who have been driven mad with knowledge of the cosmos. In D&D, it's an accepted archetype for players. PC's, particularly Clerics, Wizards, Druids, and Sorcerers, warp reality far more than any eldritch evil. And they do it on a daily basis.

    In other words, it would take so many house-rules (such as the ones listed in your post, which aren't even particularly effective at limiting PC power) to get it to sort-of work that you might as well use a different system of mechanics. I hear there's this game called Call of Cthulhu which might do well. But 3.5? Just has too high a power curve for PC's to work effectively as a horror game.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
    All hail great Shneekeythulhu! Ia Ia Shneeky fthagn
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Compressed for reading sake.
    There is more to horror and survival than the pure power of the PC. :/ House rules don't even have to be used at a given time considering that horror can be injected into the scenario at certain points of the campaign where the PCs simply can't deal with it at the time because of their current status, and what they have access to at that moment or sequence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterColt22 View Post
    There is more to horror and survival than the pure power of the PC. :/ House rules don't even have to be used at a given time considering that horror can be injected into the scenario at certain points of the campaign where the PCs simply can't deal with it at the time because of their current status, and what they have access to at that moment or sequence.
    I've never encountered such. Encounters tend to be either 'we can take this' or 'too powerful, retreat so we can power up to beat it'. There's very little 'horror' involved. Besides, with how easy it is to become immune to mind-affecting (Protection from Evil at least suppresses it) which includes most fear effects, horror really isn't something a typical PC is capable of.

    The only way to introduce something the PC's simply can't deal with is to DMPC or CR+8, and even then, only at low (1st through 5th) levels. Both of those strategies are difficult to pull off without either looking like an arse-pull or being arbitrary 'rocks fall, everyone dies'.

    Let's face it. When the 'weak sister' of the party is dishing out some few thousand damage a round, eldritch horrors really aren't that scary.

    It's why I'm not a fan of the horror genre in general. Evil wins because good is stupid. It's just as boring as a self-insert fantasy fulfillment mary sue story. The only difference between Eleminster and Elder Evils is that the former makes everyone worship him through fanatic devotion and the latter through insanity and fear.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2012-10-09 at 12:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Again, a trivial challenge. You -really- should hop over to the Stuffy Doll challenge thread to have an idea of what a T1 character can pull off.
    The amount of optimization required to kill the Stuffy Doll even in one of its much earlier incarnations is anathema to horror games anyway; it has nothing to do with T1 characters. If you took the same attitude towards the Soulborn that you did with a Wizard, you wouldn't enjoy the genre.

    Also, Cthulhu-stomping behavior of T1s is only true in high optimization, where the stories aren't really about physical conflict anyway and you're using tools beyond the Gentleman's Agreement of many groups. In mid-op, a few Gibbering Orbs will murder a level 15 wizard.

    So you can't run a horror game with high-op T1s. You can't run any other kind of game involving physical conflict, either. In mid or low op, horror would work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Again, a trivial challenge. You -really- should hop over to the Stuffy Doll challenge thread to have an idea of what a T1 character can pull off.
    I swear, you are paladin'ing my little Stuffy Doll *places in sig for convenience sake*

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    In other words, it would take so many house-rules (such as the ones listed in your post, which aren't even particularly effective at limiting PC power) to get it to sort-of work that you might as well use a different system of mechanics. I hear there's this game called Call of Cthulhu which might do well. But 3.5? Just has too high a power curve for PC's to work effectively as a horror game.
    So very true. CoC is much more effective for horrifying your players then 3.5 ed D&D. Even using Heroes of Horror the game does not get that scary because you always know that you can have a panic button ready just in case because you CAN have one. In a CoC game you don't get one of those, in fact sometimes the game will be purposely built to give you one when you don't need it and then suddenly take it away just to build more despair and fear for you... So if you want a Horror game, then play a game of Call of Cthulhu D20. The system can be adjusted to include other games as well (Hell, I played one based on Amnesia: The Dark Decent).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    In other words, it would take so many house-rules (such as the ones listed in your post, which aren't even particularly effective at limiting PC power) to get it to sort-of work that you might as well use a different system of mechanics. I hear there's this game called Call of Cthulhu which might do well. But 3.5? Just has too high a power curve for PC's to work effectively as a horror game.
    So, should I be the first one to inform him that those aren't house rules, or can I just sit here with a ****ty grin for the rest of the day?

    Also, 3.5, d20, whichever you play, based on the DM and his flavorful tastes, can easily make a DnD horror campaign.

    At the end of the day, whether you homebrew/houserule the fact of the matter is, is that anything is possible in these games. When a T1 group is gonna have something thrown at it, you don't just throw 1 thing at it, you have a plethora of things that, if left unchecked, will kill you outright without questions.

    An Elder Evil isn't going to show up unless the world, or wherever you are, is going to complete ****. Have you ever watched Berserk? It's the equivalent of the Arc Finale where Every single person you know and love is killed by minor eldritch abominations, and just to drive the point home the elder evil might just rape your love interest while you're pinned by like 5 evils, just cause it knows it can, and that's amusing.

    Don't get me wrong, it's certainly killable, but I believe I need to make it more simple.

    If you're being placed in a horror campaign, where the big bad is a fleeting thought of an elder evil, there's potentially 2 things that aren't going to happen if the DM wants to keep you in a sense of "Oh holy **** I'm going to die"

    Thing 1: He won't allow T1 Equipment, and probably not even what's below that. If you want someone to play a horror campaign, the last thing you give them is a significantly good means to kill every "horror" that shows up. It's a game of running away, and only occasionally hurting something.

    Thing 2: It won't be an advancing wall of doom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    I swear, you are paladin'ing my little Stuffy Doll *places in sig for convenience sake*
    Credit where credit is due. I may not prefer to partake in progressive challenges like that, but it really does showcase a lot of why Tier 1 classes really are that overpowered.

    So very true. CoC is much more effective for horrifying your players then 3.5 ed D&D. Even using Heroes of Horror the game does not get that scary because you always know that you can have a panic button ready just in case because you CAN have one. In a CoC game you don't get one of those, in fact sometimes the game will be purposely built to give you one when you don't need it and then suddenly take it away just to build more despair and fear for you... So if you want a Horror game, then play a game of Call of Cthulhu D20. The system can be adjusted to include other games as well (Hell, I played one based on Amnesia: The Dark Decent).
    Indeed. D&D games just have too many win buttons and escape hatches to induce a level of horror. Heck, DimDoor, available by level 7, is an escape button. From that point on, it's practically impossible to trap a party somewhere they don't want to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    So, should I be the first one to inform him that those aren't house rules, or can I just sit here with a ****ty grin for the rest of the day?
    I consider third party content just using someone else's house rules.

    Also, 3.5, d20, whichever you play, based on the DM and his flavorful tastes, can easily make a DnD horror campaign.

    At the end of the day, whether you homebrew/houserule the fact of the matter is, is that anything is possible in these games. When a T1 group is gonna have something thrown at it, you don't just throw 1 thing at it, you have a plethora of things that, if left unchecked, will kill you outright without questions.
    And each T1 class has ways of checking everything, yes even that.

    An Elder Evil isn't going to show up unless the world, or wherever you are, is going to complete ****. Have you ever watched Berserk? It's the equivalent of the Arc Finale where Every single person you know and love is killed by minor eldritch abominations, and just to drive the point home the elder evil might just rape your love interest while you're pinned by like 5 evils, just cause it knows it can, and that's amusing.

    Don't get me wrong, it's certainly killable, but I believe I need to make it more simple.

    If you're being placed in a horror campaign, where the big bad is a fleeting thought of an elder evil, there's potentially 2 things that aren't going to happen if the DM wants to keep you in a sense of "Oh holy **** I'm going to die"

    Thing 1: He won't allow T1 Equipment, and probably not even what's below that. If you want someone to play a horror campaign, the last thing you give them is a significantly good means to kill every "horror" that shows up. It's a game of running away, and only occasionally hurting something.

    Thing 2: It won't be an advancing wall of doom.
    Ahem...

    "Oh sure, it works really well, you just remove half of the rules and two of the major underpinning mechanics of the game and it works just fine".

    If you have to fix it to make it work, then it probably isn't the tool to use. Within every tool, there resides a hammer, but that doesn't mean that should be their primary use.

    Remove equipment and half the classes in the game, and you really aren't playing D&D anymore. Wizards and Clerics are iconic classes, even in the Gygax days when you COULD effectively run a horror game with the rules.

    Sure, you could eventually pare down the rules until you have something that could fit the genre, but it would be a mass and tangle of house rules to keep the party within the power limits you want. And even then, your players can ALWAYS find a way around it. I would take it as a personal challenge to break the game at that point. Or, you could use a system which is actually designed for it from the get-go. Heck, that's how Legend got started... from the old Test of Spite competitions.

    I maintain my position: D&D 3.5 is a poor mechanical system to run a horror genre game in, because there is too much you'd have to change to be able to invoke much horror in your players.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2012-10-09 at 01:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    So, should I be the first one to inform him that those aren't house rules, or can I just sit here with a ****ty grin for the rest of the day?
    Refer to post #42. You would be the second to point it out.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    I consider third party content just using someone else's house rules.
    It's first-party though.

    I maintain my position: D&D 3.5 is a poor mechanical system to run a horror genre game in, because there is too much you'd have to change to be able to invoke much horror in your players.
    Past a certain level of optimization, yes, that is true. At least some of the people in this thread have conceded that point. The important part is that if you're attempting to run a horror game, there is (or at least should be) a gentlemen's agreement that the players won't resort to the sort of measures that can't reasonably be countered.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-10-09 at 01:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Past a certain level of optimization, yes, that is true. At least some of the people in this thread have conceded that point. The important part is that if you're attempting to run a horror game, there is (or at least should be) a gentlemen's agreement that the players won't resort to the sort of measures that can't reasonably be countered.
    In other words, if your going to play a horror game, make sure no PC has the "I want to be a brilliant, destructive, god of war" because that's bad.

    Horror games are easy to play without removing *any* of the mechanics, you just have to keep optimization of characters to "Sub Par"

    Which, judging from Shneeky's points of view, is a sin.

    Also for the sake of not wanting to get into a heated discussion about Optimizing vs Not-Optimizing, I'm just going to let by-gons be by-gons and say that if I wanted to play a horror campaign, I would intentionally not attempt to become capable of killing the stuff that's chasing me through the hallways.
    Last edited by Duboris; 2012-10-09 at 02:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    Which, judging from Shneeky's points of view, is a sin.
    Not what he said, and I'm pretty sure this thread is about to get heated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Not what he said, and I'm pretty sure this thread is about to get heated.
    changed accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duboris View Post
    changed accordingly.
    Well, sort of...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Come on boys and girls, we have people eagerly awaiting stats for our recently created abominations. I really don't want to have to start a new thread simply to post said stats.
    Last edited by LanSlyde; 2012-10-09 at 02:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Not what he said, and I'm pretty sure this thread is about to get heated.
    Nah, he's entitled to his opinions.

    The problem is that you don't really need 'high op' to become practically immortal. Rope Trick means you can nova every encounter, because it's effectively a reset button, from about level four on. That's not optimization, that's a single 2nd level spell.

    Once you get Dimension Door, by level 7, you're effectively unable to be trapped. Also by that time, you get Freedom of Movement and Death Ward from your Cleric.

    Heck, your whole party can become immune to mind-affecting at 1st level with Protection from Evil.

    These aren't uber optimization tricks, these are basic spells in the SRD that pretty much shut down any attempt at playing a horror genre.

    It's simple... give a PC a problem, and he will find a solution. Send mind-affecting at the party, they will start spamming Protection from Evil to protect themselves. Start trapping them, they make sure to get access to Dimension Door, or Teleport, or something along those lines. It stops being a horror genre story and starts being a three-legged race between the GM to throw horrors at the party and the party making the horrors not so horrifying.

    Expecting the party to not try and protect themselves is silly. They're adventurers it's their entire reason for existing... to overcome challenges. Handing them challenges is what a GM does. Overcoming them is what PC's do. You can't expect that they will willingly allow themselves to be vulnerable to a particular tactic over and over, can you?

    At high-optimization, there is literally no challenge a PC cannot overcome. However, even at low-op, unless you are deliberately nerfing yourself by refusing to make intelligent choices about gear and spells, there's still no way to really make a horror genre campaign really work.
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    @Shneekey
    Rope Trick => Time Constraints may prevent this. Intelligent foes may mean you have to leave the dungeon, otherwise there could be nasty surprises. Also, do you really want to spend two of your second level slots on Rope Trick? They are the best thing you have at 4th level.

    The other buffs work fine, but when you get them, the same question applies - every slot you use for freedom of movement or death ward can't be spent on offense.

    Concerning the greater point: I think horror can work, if it depends on atmosphere and not on game abilities. All the stuff that's just comically overemphasized in the Book of Vile Darkness can make for a horrific game even if the players have tools to combat the BBEG. But I also agree that other games are far more suited for the genre.
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    Well this was an amusing read to start an otherwise mind-crushingly boring day of work :p Thankyou
    Fochlucan Lyrist conversion for Pathfinder

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Your point in general
    I'm currently playing a horror campaign, Cthulhu and whatnot. We are using E6 rules, which have proven to work real good with this. We have T1 classes in the party and it isn't a problem. To play in a horror campaign you need to, well, play in a horror campaign.

    It is up to the players as much as the DM to set the mood, and if you are going to be a jerk to the DM and ruin the mood he and everyone else is trying to obtain, then gtfo and play in a cookie-cutter DnD campaign .

    The wizard fights according to his character, not according to uber-optimization. Sure, he could have the power to kill all adversaries, but he instead focuses on keeping his sanity yet uncovering more dark secrets!


    Horror campaigns work if the party wants to play in a horror campaign. It is usually the case that everyone decides that it is going to be such a campaign.
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