Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 91 to 109 of 109
  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Minis and measurements not required - True.
    Effective and efficient use of the rules as written without visual aids and measurements of any kind -this is what I dispute. I would argue that from a gameplay/mechanics standpoint it is decidedly suboptimal (which is not a judgment on anyone's preference or ability to DM).

    When I say "not strongly supported mechanically", I mean the designers put no thought into rules that actually simplify and abstract the combat procedure sufficiently to be able to provide a comparable objective experience to using minis on the tabletop. They said "you don't need them" but gave no way to make that work besides "just keep all the distances and relative positions of characters in your head". Which has been the way TotM in D&D has always worked/not worked.

    Without minis and measurements, the game experience varies even more wildly than normal between DMs, the utility of various abilities and equipment that by-the-book should be relatively balanced/reasonable can fluctuate from completely useless to overpowered. Whether or not certain abilities work and how often they can work comes to depend more or entirely on the DM's adjudication rather than objective action taken by the player. Some DMs will be very objective and have a map of the area or carefully track distances and movement, and have objective answers for how far away things are and whether a character can reach cover or exactly how distant enemies are (of course still requiring players asking instead of just looking and deciding for themselves). Other DMs will be very "wobbly" about it all, and decide on the fly or have only a vague idea of distances and ranges, resulting in players having less control over the effectiveness of their actions.

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by napoleon_in_rag View Post
    I have been playing since Original AD&D and grids, hexes, and miniatures have always been a part of the game. Remember that the original system grew out of the Chainmail miniature war game rules. So even the earliest version was aimed at movement and tactics, not just what the dm saw in their mind.
    I started in 1985 on BECMI and AD&D 1e. I don't know anyone that used minis. otoh I was playing in junior and high school for my first eight years, and no one could afford them. By the time I hit college in '93, 2e was well established.

    It wasn't until 2e Combat&Tactics and 3e, and me getting heavily int FLGS play that battle-mat play was something I encountered regularly. I played it all the way through the end of 4e. It's fun. But it has some rather massive downsides. So I'm glad 5e was designed to be played without minis/battlemat first, then had specific rules for battlemats added second. The ability to roll back to the way I learned to play D&D is a refreshing change.

    However, as I said in my very first post, going completely TotM and map/diagram-free makes it very hard to not confuse players in a big battle. So my takeaway from this thread is I should introduce basic diagrams, white boarded, to a test table. And see what kind of feedback and changes in play result.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcsillas View Post
    Yes, that has been pointed out and I edited my comment to that effect. However, this doesn't have any bearing on the fact that 5th has reverted back to a 2nd edition style of play that does not require the use of a grid for effective combat.
    TSR released 2e rules for miniatures in 1989, the same year 2e was released. I think it was it called skirmishes. As I recall, it used miniatures with out a grid with 1" equaling 10'.

    I played 2e more than any other edition. We didn't use miniatures but we did draw out maps on grid paper and used pennies to represent the characters. 2e might of had a one minute round but there were still movement rules and special abilities and a of e attacks that need a map for accuracy.

    I don't think any edition NEEDS to use a grid. I do think in 5e that there are abilities in every class that lose utility in the theater of the mind.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Blue Lantern's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    But trained fighters do much better, almost at the instinctive level. I'm always wary of assuming that our characters are just like us. They're (mostly, if they survive level 1) experienced combatants and professional adventurers. They're supposed to be aware of everything happening around them (this is extrapolated from the surprise rules and the opportunity attack rules, etc). From talking to my friends that have served in combat (I used to live next to a major military base, so I had quite a few of them), what you lose is awareness of things out of sight. People can duck behind walls and it's easy to lose track of them if there are other threats active. This is one of the reasons urban combat is so risky. A professional should be aware of anything within sensory range and not concealed.

    It's a (much weaker) variant of the "Guy at the Gym" issue (at least in my mind).
    The only issue I have with this comparison is that even the best trained and experienced soldier awareness of his surrounding is a far cry to having a perfect top down vision of the battlefield that ignores obstacles and allows precise measure for movement and fire.
    I highly doubt that there is a soldier that is able, in a few seconds, to throw a grenade with pinpoint accuracy to perfectly maximise the number of enemies caught in the blast while perfectly avoiding friendly fire, sometimes with just inches of difference between the two. Now compare that to 90% of the wizards using fireball when there is a grid involved and you see the disconnect right away.

    Personally I like both methods, I have a slight preference for TotM, when done well, because it helps both keeping the players engaged and in picturing the situation properly.

    The problem is that TotM is harder to do well than grid and maps, because it requires, first of all, a good DM who is able, not only of doing good and clear descriptions, but also of keeping track of the situation moment to moment, and is quick enough to his feet to fairly adjudicate any player action.

    Another thing that TotM requires imho, is an higher level of trust between players and DM.

    The last difficulty is that TotM becomes exponentially harder to do the more players and pieces are involved in the battle.

    I don't know if anyone has watched the D&D stream Dice, Camera, Action, there Chris Perkins uses TotM and is a perfect example of when and how it can work.
    After years of disintoxication I'm back in the D&D tunnel

    "I donít understand God. I donít understand how He could see the way people treat one another, and not chalk up the whole human race as a bad idea. I guess Heís just bigger about it than I would be."
    Jim Butcher-Dresden Files, book 3

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    I used to be a die-hard TotM guy, till 5th came along. 5th's speed/lack of superfluous rules sped things up and the extra baggage of TotM stood out a lot more.

    A grid also works well with a lot of other 5th edition features such as bounded accuracy.

    Bounded accuracy lets multiple small threats still be dangerous, as dangerous as a big threat. Now if you go down the TotM route this is a bit of a problem. Either you have the burden of trying to describe where 20 goblins are or you are forced into dealing with "clouds" of them - "six of them near the door, five near the staircase, six in the middle of the room...". Neither are quite adequate for me where I want to have individuals hiding behind pillars, hiding behind doors. Being able to have the whole table simultaneously grasp where everyone is and which enemies have already been subjected to attacks. I can explain everything but it does take a long time, results in a lot more questions and generally slows the game down.

    I think it also works well as we use roll20 quite a bit. With dynamic lighting and all of that you can pre-prepare a lot to make it run smoother.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    The relationship between early D&D and miniature use isn't a simple as it sounds.

    On the one hand, the game was a modified version of Chainmail - which was a miniatures wargame - so most of the combat and magic rules were inherited from that game and talked about things in terms of inches as if on a map (and the assumption was that there were different scales for indoor and outdoor: indoors was 1":10', outdoors was 1":30').

    But on the other hand, Gary Gygax very rarely used miniatures when actually DMing the game. He would use TotM. In fact, reports from some of his players are that sometimes he would go even further, in that he wouldn't just use some kind of screen to block the players from seeing his notes; he'd be completely hidden behind his desk so the players wouldn't be able to see him at all and they'd just hear his voice describing things. As far as he was concerned, the action should all be taking place in the players' imaginations and even seeing him would be a distraction.

    So basically the game has been split between miniatures and TotM right from its very beginning. Anyone saying that the early game was strictly one or the other is only giving half the story.
    Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by huttj509 View Post
    I prefer having a visual reference rather than strict TotM. Too many times have I run into "He's hiding behind the crates" "what crates" "It's a warehouse" "but you didn't mention crates" "you should have asked if there were crates if you wanted to hide."
    I've played with the GM who constantly fell back on "that was implied, you should have inferred it" and "you should have asked"... it was maddening.

    Somewhat like your situation, we ended up as a group forcing him to sketch out locations where things mattered, and pushing back on details he left out by saying "if you get to imply things and drop in details, so do we".

    Whether it's grids and minis, rough sketch maps, or ToTM, the GM and players have established a common mental image of the space the characters are in, or the game has a very high suck potential.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Spoiler: Block of Quotes -- Shrunk Down for Sanity
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Situational awareness is key in battle (or so I've heard). If you tunnel vision, you die. Quickly. Also, if you're actually there you would know extremely well how the terrain is around you. Verbal descriptions are very lossy--you can only convey a tiny fraction of what someone actually there would see and feel in any reasonable amount of time.

    I've never played with people who could do TotM right. Too many questions about what's there. It requires everyone to be paying absolute attention and for the DM to describe things perfectly, otherwise different interpretations of the same words leads to "wait, what?" moments and retconning (or hurt feelings/feeling like the DM is playing gotcha games). This is my experience, anyway. Some kind of map is important to have a shared understanding of the battle-space.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    The closest I've come is paintball. And I can tell you, as soon as the game starts, situational awareness goes right out the window. Sure, I can believe it's key. Tht makes perfect sense, if 'normal' is a complete lack of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    But trained fighters do much better, almost at the instinctive level. I'm always wary of assuming that our characters are just like us. They're (mostly, if they survive level 1) experienced combatants and professional adventurers. They're supposed to be aware of everything happening around them (this is extrapolated from the surprise rules and the opportunity attack rules, etc). From talking to my friends that have served in combat (I used to live next to a major military base, so I had quite a few of them), what you lose is awareness of things out of sight. People can duck behind walls and it's easy to lose track of them if there are other threats active. This is one of the reasons urban combat is so risky. A professional should be aware of anything within sensory range and not concealed.

    It's a (much weaker) variant of the "Guy at the Gym" issue (at least in my mind).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Whats that got to do with the price of milk?

    Do all your PCs always have the Soldier background?

    You're right. Because avoiding "Guy at the Gym" is the excuse people who want to play anime or a video game instead of fantasy trpgs use to break verisimilitude.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post

    No, but they have something better (beyond level 1, at least). Experience. Otherwise they aren't above level 1, by definition.

    So you can shoot fire from your fingertips? The guy at the gym can carry 300 pounds without slowing down, while making 4 real attacks per 6 seconds and moving 30 feet? Or maybe 8 attacks in 6 seconds and moving 30 feet? Or running along walls 60 feet in 6 seconds and making 4 attacks? Or surviving hits from dragons 3x their size? These are all things that level 20 characters can do stock. If you want to constrain yourself by what the "Guy at the Gym" can do, don't play D&D. Or any non-real-world TTRPG for that matter, as all of them involve people doing "unrealistic" things.

    Verisimilitude should be about what's plausible in-universe. Not what's true of our universe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii
    Yeah okay, my objection to the concept wasn't really justified. I got too invested in my argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I hear you. I've had several recently where I just had to put the keyboard down and walk away (despite people being wrong on the internet). No worries. We're cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Yeah I have to do that a lot. If if keep responding I end up doing all the cliche internet argument things because I get tunnel vision. If I leave off, sometimes I can see the other point of view. For example ...


    Not gonna go that far, but this thread has convinced me to trial run a white board for general positioning (playbook style) with one of my groups, and see if they prefer it for additional clarity.
    Quote Originally Posted by HidesHisEyes View Post
    Good job, GitP, we are doing Internet forum discussions right. Bonus points for all of us because no one used the word "fallacy" once!
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I've been making a major effort to walk away from discussions when I'm getting heated. Boy I love being right (or sometimes, with some posters, them being wrong), but I hate how I feel when I'm mad (especially about silly things). I once had a 30-minute, knock-down, drag-out argument over whether we should pasteurize milk. That was pointless.

    I personally detest the habit of using claimed fallacies as a weapon to shut down conversations. I like the ideas behind a lot of the GitP fallacies/laws, but they're ideas and heuristics that inform or caution--they can't be used to "prove" the other person wrong (especially just by claiming that they've committed such fallacies). Often I find them deployed by those who can't (or won't) argue substance.

    More on topic, I think that this is something DMs should experiment with. The answer isn't gonna be the same for every group (or even every situation in every group). Find something that works for you and yours, taking into account the pros and cons that have been discussed.



    Tunnel vision -- This is a problem for people in actual combat and combat-like situations, and there's deliberate effort in the training to mitigate it for those expected to go into these situations. All that screaming and verbal jabbing, all that pushing and stress and crawling in mud and simulated gunfire, is in part to get soldiers so that they can handle insanely stressful situations without freaking out. And there are breathing exercises to help settle the system into a state that is fired up for combat without being so fired up that the tunnel vision sets in.


    On the subject of fallacies -- I don't know what's more aggravating, having someone throw in a comment that's a blatant fallacy as if they're proclaiming truth, sometimes to the point that they might as well be repeating the quoted examples from the definition of the fallacy... or people who have no idea what the fallacy is and just start throwing it around because they think it makes them "the winner" by some sort of textual magic. Often it will be the same person, to the point where I've seen someone commit the strawman fallacy in the process of inaccurately accusing someone else of committing the strawman fallacy. (Inaccurate both in that they weren't responding to what the person actually said, and in that they clearly had no idea what a "strawman" is.)


    On the subject of "situational layout" -- Do what works. Whatever does the best job, for a particular group, of keeping everyone in the moment and moving forward and on the same page as to what's going on around the characters, that's the thing that group should use. This is one of those things where picking the tool that works is far more important than finding One True Way.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Somewhat like your situation, we ended up as a group forcing him to sketch out locations where things mattered, and pushing back on details he left out by saying "if you get to imply things and drop in details, so do we".
    That actually works fine as long as everyone is on board with it. Although I found it works better in not-D&D games. Either while playing D&D or the kind of people that play D&D, seem to come from the idea that the world is described/designed exclusively by the DM, and the players merely interact with it. Probably because the various DMGs put it that way, in general terms. Which is fine and dandy if that's what people want, and in fact I prefer it as a general rule.

    But I played in one memorable Rifts game where we got to drop in details that 'made sense', and it made that ramshackle system a whole lot more fun. Also ran a couple of Warhammer RPG sessions that way, although it ended up making the place a lot darker than I intended. Players were 'seeing' (ie describing) chaos corruption everywhere.

    Thinking about it, that actually wouldn't be a bad approach in many games. Many DMs forget basic stuff like weather, lighting, obscuring effects (especially foliage), and of course cover. This is true both in TotM and when filling in battle mats IMX. Of course, giving players the ability to 'create' these things might break some peoples immersion far worse.

    Edit: this also could work when setting up a battle mat, as opposed to doing it on the fly during battle. Let players jump in and add details that would 'make sense' while laying things out.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2017-08-13 at 09:57 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That actually works fine as long as everyone is on board with it. Although I found it works better in not-D&D games. Either while playing D&D or the kind of people that play D&D, seem to come from the idea that the world is described/designed exclusively by the DM, and the players merely interact with it. Probably because the various DMGs put it that way, in general terms. Which is fine and dandy if that's what people want, and in fact I prefer it as a general rule.

    But I played in one memorable Rifts game where we got to drop in details that 'made sense', and it made that ramshackle system a whole lot more fun. Also ran a couple of Warhammer RPG sessions that way, although it ended up making the place a lot darker than I intended. Players were 'seeing' (ie describing) chaos corruption everywhere.

    Thinking about it, that actually wouldn't be a bad approach in many games. Many DMs forget basic stuff like weather, lighting, obscuring effects (especially foliage), and of course cover. This is true both in TotM and when filling in battle mats IMX. Of course, giving players the ability to 'create' these things might break some peoples immersion far worse.

    Edit: this also could work when setting up a battle mat, as opposed to doing it on the fly during battle. Let players jump in and add details that would 'make sense' while laying things out.
    In our specific case, we didn't do it to assert that the players should get to add world details on the fly, so much as we did it to make the point that the GM wasn't being upfront with crucial details (we could never pin down how much was because he was not grasping that his mental picture didn't automatically translate to our mental picture, versus how much was because he was just making stuff up on the fly based on his wonky notion of "challenge").
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That actually works fine as long as everyone is on board with it. Although I found it works better in not-D&D games. Either while playing D&D or the kind of people that play D&D, seem to come from the idea that the world is described/designed exclusively by the DM, and the players merely interact with it. Probably because the various DMGs put it that way, in general terms. Which is fine and dandy if that's what people want, and in fact I prefer it as a general rule.

    But I played in one memorable Rifts game where we got to drop in details that 'made sense', and it made that ramshackle system a whole lot more fun. Also ran a couple of Warhammer RPG sessions that way, although it ended up making the place a lot darker than I intended. Players were 'seeing' (ie describing) chaos corruption everywhere.

    Thinking about it, that actually wouldn't be a bad approach in many games. Many DMs forget basic stuff like weather, lighting, obscuring effects (especially foliage), and of course cover. This is true both in TotM and when filling in battle mats IMX. Of course, giving players the ability to 'create' these things might break some peoples immersion far worse.

    Edit: this also could work when setting up a battle mat, as opposed to doing it on the fly during battle. Let players jump in and add details that would 'make sense' while laying things out.
    Yeah it's not the way I like to do RPGs, either as a DM or a player. As a player I just want to roleplay my character, and that means I only have control over the things my character has control over. I just find it easier an more fun this way; I'm not writing the story, I'm participating in it as a character. I'm not too keen on FATE and other systems that do the "I declare..." thing, for the same reason.

    The only exception is players determining their characters' backgrounds, since that necessarily entails the player declaring some things. In this case, as a DM I like finding ways to weave the PCs' backgrounds into my world.
    Last edited by HidesHisEyes; 2017-08-13 at 03:28 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #102
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I started in 1985 on BECMI and AD&D 1e. I don't know anyone that used minis. otoh I was playing in junior and high school for my first eight years, and no one could afford them. By the time I hit college in '93, 2e was well established.

    It wasn't until 2e Combat&Tactics and 3e, and me getting heavily int FLGS play that battle-mat play was something I encountered regularly. I played it all the way through the end of 4e. It's fun. But it has some rather massive downsides. So I'm glad 5e was designed to be played without minis/battlemat first, then had specific rules for battlemats added second. The ability to roll back to the way I learned to play D&D is a refreshing change.

    However, as I said in my very first post, going completely TotM and map/diagram-free makes it very hard to not confuse players in a big battle. So my takeaway from this thread is I should introduce basic diagrams, white boarded, to a test table. And see what kind of feedback and changes in play result.
    Counterpoint: My AD&D groups even as far back as 1983 used minis. Our FLGS had cabinets of the most gorgeously-painted ones I've ever seen, and their store gaming tables were covered in grids.

    TotM has a breaking point, and it means you give up on SOMEthing eventually. Whether it's having fewer combatants, tactically less complex situations to untangle, omitting the effects and influences of cool environmental things, or making battlefield control spells very 'mother may I' because there isn't enough objective knowledge on the part of the player, you end up just hand-waving away parts of the game.

    And, the most fun I've ever had in a large scale battle was in a complex room, getting nets dropped on us by a mix of Sahaugin and other monsters, with eight characters, and different parts of the room being washed over by waves at different times. Impossible with ToTM.

    It doesn't necessarily need to be gridded 3E style, but having a visual of some kind is helpful more often than not.

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    I personally quite like using a map, because it can be much faster than trying to describe where things are to everyone's satisfaction.

    However, I agree that using a grid can be distracting, as can measuring with a ruler.

    So I guess my favourite would be "use minis on a map with a scale, but don't use any measuring devices". You can pretty much eyeball if something will be in range, and there's no real reason to leave someone 5' out of melee if they charge or something like that.

    Does it make the halfling with a 25' move pretty much the same as the human with a 30' move? Sure, but do you really care? Things like that are more important in chases or overland hikes or the like. In combat, it feels arbitrary.

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by HidesHisEyes View Post
    Yeah it's not the way I like to do RPGs, either as a DM or a player. As a player I just want to roleplay my character, and that means I only have control over the things my character has control over. I just find it easier an more fun this way; I'm not writing the story, I'm participating in it as a character. I'm not too keen on FATE and other systems that do the "I declare..." thing, for the same reason.
    On the other hand, there's a whole bunch of reasonable declarations. My favorite example for this is "I pick up a stick" when in a forest. Sure, the presence of a stick may not have been explicitly specified. However it's a forest, and it really shouldn't have to be.

  15. - Top - End - #105
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    On the other hand, there's a whole bunch of reasonable declarations. My favorite example for this is "I pick up a stick" when in a forest. Sure, the presence of a stick may not have been explicitly specified. However it's a forest, and it really shouldn't have to be.
    That's true, I do absolutely use declarations to the extent that my players can't expect me to state every single detail so I can't expect them to play using only the details I've stated. I was talking more about "I declare the gate guard has a thing for elves and fancies me" or something. I often roll randomly for that kind of thing, since if the players are going the seduction route then I don't know how likely it is to succeed since I haven't written a whole psychological profile for every NPC. I'd rather not have mechanics that let the players decide, that's all.

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Psikerlord's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    For me it's 100% totm, maybe with the occasional scratch map to help folks understand relative locations

    I used to use ****loads of minis and maps. For years. And that's fun too in it's own way.

    But I find totm promotes better PC/GM improv, RPing, side treks and random encounters. And this is gold. It is also ime faster. Yes, you give up a bit of precise detail - but for me the benefits of totm far outweigh the drawbacks. I commend it to all who haven't tried it.

    One note - totm doesn't work with all systems. It's fine for 5e for example. Cant do it with 4e however, well not ime. We played 4e for 4 years or so and always had grids out
    Last edited by Psikerlord; 2017-08-14 at 06:58 PM.
    Low Fantasy Gaming RPG - Free PDF at the link: https://lowfantasygaming.com/

    $1 Adventure Frameworks - RPG Mini Adventures: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=645444

    Midlands Low Magic Sandbox Setting - https://lowfantasygaming.com/2017/12...x-setting-pdf/

  17. - Top - End - #107
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    I've recently joined a group that uses TotM and it just feels to me like an old final fantasy game. Everyone takes their turn smacking each other and there is no tactical movement beyond "you start x feet apart" and "I move toward the enemy." I'm sure this isn't everyone's experience, but I really miss out on the war game feel of combat.

  18. - Top - End - #108
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Yay.

    It's nice to have the choice between using physical materials and a full naration approach. There's appeal to each, so having the ability to do both is great.
    Roll for it
    5e Houserules and Homebrew
    Extended Signature
    Awesome avatar by Ceika.

  19. - Top - End - #109
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Theatre of the Mind: yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Yay.

    It's nice to have the choice between using physical materials and a full naration approach. There's appeal to each, so having the ability to do both is great.
    And, of course, it's not a simple choice of the two. Some examples include:

    1) Everything's simply verbally described.

    2) There's a basic sketched map to give people an idea of the area, but positioning of combatants is just verbally described.

    3) There's a whiteboard with marks and arrows showing vaguely who is where.

    4) Figures (or figure proxies) are used on the table, with books and other objects arranged to give an approximation of the shape of the area.

    5) There's a grid, and figures are moved square by square.

    6) There's full modeled terrain and furniture.

    I've used everything from 1-5 in the past. Although I've been an advocate of TotM in this thread, which is basically 1-2 on this scale, I'll happily move up to 3 or even 4 if it's a complex situation with lots of combatants. I've done 5 in the past, but I can't envisage a situation where my group would want to bother with it again (I still have the figures and grid though, so we could if we really wanted to).
    Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •