Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Sporeegg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Advice for a struggling game

    We still play Degenesis, a kind of art project that evolved into a fully fledged RPG that sometimes infuses great gameplay, and sometimes plays like someone built your jeep out of cardboard because a full on human collision wrecks it but let's the human not die just fall over and be really grumpy. It is a - WoD style - dice pool system using d6 (4-6 is a success, DCs are measured in needed successes, easy difficulty for something trained is 2)

    I have talked about it in this:

    So I drove our party's pick-up over a slaver and now we are captured...
    Playing a big brute - how to make him stand out?
    Semi-realistic post-apocalyptic body-building

    The DM and his wife decided to switch places in our new group that we do via discord. We get a lot of ruined audio - and some people insist on video chat which strains the connection even more, so we have to work out the technicalities. I like the group but now comes the kicker. While I like the DM I don't like parts of her style. She likes survival RP, which is great in post apocalypse. But are a few things that make this system woefully unchallenging.

    1) More than half of our checks are perception so almost everyone has pumped it, allowing us basically to pinpoint deer from three miles away. The only thing challenging is a decently stealthy NPC (who has nicked a few items at night already).

    While it is true that attention is key, for hunting traps, mutated wolf ambushes or finding food, it is tiresome to roll perception all of the time.

    2) She currently has no idea how to adapt combat to our strength. It is honestly a cakewalk. I have a big bad bruiser that I planned so I can stack armor (basically damage reduction) so the umpteenth wolf ambush does nothing to my health. She needs to step up her game for that, and we obviously don't engage in fights we don't have the upper hand in. My character has dumped intelligence (and charisma) and even HE knows not to pick a fight.

    We have three combat ready characters, my tanky bruiser, a sniper with a high tech rifle, and a doctor with combat toxins and chemicals.

    3) Character challenges: On the flip side, we have our tech gal, who is woefully underequipped for combat and refuses to use lethal options. She runs around with a net (that she can throw about 5 feet but she is terrible at melee, or even dodging, defending or armor since she is too weak to effectively wear armor).

    We have a doc and his hired mercenary who have a blast actually wandering around, collecting tissue samples and whatnot. But the other three characters are rather singularly interested.

    The male prostitute was forced by her boss to collect electrical equipment (basically the player made a character for city RP and we got a wilderness campaign). He is good with locks and decent with a gun but that is about it. There is no ingame reason why he should hang around (other than the tacked on love interest that comes from scrapper girl).

    Scrapper girl lives for the building stuff part. She doesn't care so much for rifling through the rubble of destroyed civilisations to actually get the material for her stuff. She's the second character unsuitable for wilderness RP.

    And then there's my character, the bruiser. While I AM fine with wilderness RP, where my low charisma and intelligence does not matter as much, I basically built him to be a combat beast and have almost nothing to do out of combat.

    So it's not just the DM that has to rethink imho.

    3) When the plot slows down or the DM is out of ideas, she pads our play time with unnecessary skill checks. "Survival this, perception that." mostly picking her encounters from a table, she has a very simulationist approach, rather than trying to tell a story. Don't get me wrong, I often say "scene transition" rather than "can we move on" because I feel the other campaign feels very scripted a lot of times and I enjoy the randomness. But you cannot roll for interesting stories.

    4) While she appreciates constructive criticism, she is also easily burned out on stuff. She quickly gets a headache from seemingly minor things. She has had burnout quite a few times during her professional career, so I don't want to strain her with a slog of critique, but it has to improve because for every 15 minutes of fun the campaign provides there are 2-3 hours of utter boredom.

    You got any ideas?
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Dammit man, I said to use the MORALLY GREY flaming catapults!"
    Kriv, the Boastful - Dragonborn Fighter//Bard - Calm before the Storm
    Brimaz of Oreskos - Tabaxi Druid/Life Cleric - Labyrinth of Zaaar the Mad
    Ferrin - Human Swashbuckler - Shackles of Blood

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Degenisis 1? Ouch. Same problems as basic WoD: Vampire, same GM techniques needed to make it work, so you basically need an experienced Storyteller and at best a non-group-based format to make anything out of it.

    For your current situation, I'm getting the feeling that this is going nowhere. Your GM sounds like she is basically DSA socialized and wants to emulate what works there, which doesn't work with your approach to characters and would actually call for a complete reset of your campaign, to either has her adapt her style to the group, or you rebuild your characters to fit her style of gaming.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    "Tired of rolling perception." My favorite fix is Passive Perception. Just assume that, unless distracted or preoccupied, you're constantly taking 10 (I know it's not a d20 system, but the idea is you assume an "average" roll, which for d6s I suppose it would average to 1 success for every 2 dice, since success is on a 4 to 6; not sure how to round for an odd number of dice).

    To balance that with the sneaky NPC, I like allowing players decide when to actively use their perception skill as normal so there's no accidental metagaming from "Dm says roll perception, but you roll low and don't notice anything." Anything you can get with an average roll is just given to you without rolling, but when you feel like there's something more out there, you declare a perception check and roll.

    Bonus points. It takes some of the burden off the DM to be constantly thinking about when and where to be feeding you information. Just dispense all "average roll" information when setting the scene and hold onto stealthy stuff until someone goes looking. It also rewards players being engaged with the investigation of their surroundings.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    But you cannot roll for interesting stories.
    Sure you can. When the first level D&D character got an ancient dragon on the random encounter tables? That was an interesting story. When the party was (randomly) a Paladin, an Assassin, an Undead Hunter, an Undead Master (and my character), that was an interesting story. Etc etc.

    Point is, the story is what you make of it. But it sounds to me like you implicitly want a different style them what is being delivered.

    I think what you need to do is, carefully evaluate exactly what it is you really want, and find a way to express that to the GM. Or, perhaps, to the group, to see if that's what they want, too. Then see if that's something that the GM can deliver.

    That, or modify your expectations, and "love the one you're with".

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Erloas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Not knowing the system at all, just a few general theory ideas.

    If you specifically can't really be hurt in regular combat, are there forms of magic/abilities that will bypass much of your armor? Making you vulnerable to more things?
    Also more enemies that spotting them early either doesn't really help, or more in the stealth line, isn't likely to happen. Ambush predators, mimics, or illusions of sorts so you really aren't likely to see them until you're close enough to have to engage unprepared?

    What about the option of moving into a less open wilderness setting? Find some ruins, let the crafter get some stuff going, and therefor have more options to cause conflict without directly fighting all the time. Go off to explore and come back to part of your base having had something happen to it, or the temptation to split the group a little, in which case it is easier to find something that will challenge each sub-group a bit more.

    I think in general twisting the objective or nature of the game a bit to put you guys in scenarios you aren't highly specialized in is the best way to go. A little hard to say exactly what that is without knowing the setting and mechanics better. But wilderness survival, urban survival, nation building, subterfuge or enemies/groups that are too big to take down in straight combat all require different skills and approaches. Seems like a good way to challenge the group in different ways is to move the setting a little bit. I'm thinking the various seasons of Walking Dead as good examples of one setting with many different challenges and skills required to move forward.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Sporeegg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    Not knowing the system at all, just a few general theory ideas.

    If you specifically can't really be hurt in regular combat, are there forms of magic/abilities that will bypass much of your armor? Making you vulnerable to more things?
    Called shots to the head (-4 to dice pool) usually ignore armor unless the armor specifically includes a helmet. Anything other that ignores armor is tech V (railguns) or tech VI (actual plasma rifles) and in the case the heroes win even with one guy killed, the money you get out of selling one of these babies will form and derail the campaign singlehandedly.

    Of course there is homebrewery (such as armor piercing ammo) but she struggles with the base part of the game so that I don't see her homebrewing anything that is more than DM fiat.

    Also more enemies that spotting them early either doesn't really help, or more in the stealth line, isn't likely to happen. Ambush predators, mimics, or illusions of sorts so you really aren't likely to see them until you're close enough to have to engage unprepared?
    There are mutants, and I assume we will run into some eventually (our doc is looking for the cause of the fungal spore infection in the area), which are basically super-powered humans with insectoid features - depending on the type of fungus infecting them.

    Let's just say they're highly lethal. They have armor out of the whazoo (the more people they absorb, and yes, they do that, the thicker their chitinous plating gets), heightened senses and natural stealth as well as basically psychic abilities to either command minions, corrupt and control humans, or stuff like leeching insect swarms that heal them.

    What about the option of moving into a less open wilderness setting? Find some ruins, let the crafter get some stuff going, and therefor have more options to cause conflict without directly fighting all the time. Go off to explore and come back to part of your base having had something happen to it, or the temptation to split the group a little, in which case it is easier to find something that will challenge each sub-group a bit more.
    We are currently at a ruin field that is claimed by a business and casino owner known as "The Duke". We need to investigate on his soil but scrapping in his backyard is likely costing us more money than we get in ressources. Finding scrap is highly gated by - you guessed it - a good perception result, withthe right scrapper subclass you even get a bonus to that (our scrapper is a mechanic so she gets boni on building while I am the lug and get access to highly customizable weapons and the best carrying gear, so yes I am basically the animal companion!).

    I think in general twisting the objective or nature of the game a bit to put you guys in scenarios you aren't highly specialized in is the best way to go. A little hard to say exactly what that is without knowing the setting and mechanics better. But wilderness survival, urban survival, nation building, subterfuge or enemies/groups that are too big to take down in straight combat all require different skills and approaches. Seems like a good way to challenge the group in different ways is to move the setting a little bit. I'm thinking the various seasons of Walking Dead as good examples of one setting with many different challenges and skills required to move forward.
    I know but I dont write the plot.


    Degenisis 1? Ouch. Same problems as basic WoD: Vampire, same GM techniques needed to make it work, so you basically need an experienced Storyteller and at best a non-group-based format to make anything out of it.
    Nope, Rebirth. Still the writers have basically abandoned the work, with a rules system that is what other companies such as wizards would publish as late beta version. My highly customizable melee weapon that costs loads of credits to craft and should - barring nano-technology weapons - be the best thing there is in terms of weapons is upstaged by a simple upgraded maul (basically take a sturdy piece of wood, get some barbwire around it and deal more damage than the incredibly intricate pneumohammer of the scrapper.

    Same thing with a kevlar west. Sure, it costs a small fortune but there are bigger and heavier armors out there that cost more and do less. In the last group sooner or later everyone defaulted to the kevlar because it gets +4 armor vs. projectile weapons, and guess what has the best range and is the most dangerous in the game? yes, a simple rifle. Our DM made his own noble savages trope so we never had to fight the barbarian faction but instead fought against the deacon and his highly armed elite guard. but i doubt a bit of bow and arrows would have made us doubt our armor choice.

    Bonus points. It takes some of the burden off the DM to be constantly thinking about when and where to be feeding you information. Just dispense all "average roll" information when setting the scene and hold onto stealthy stuff until someone goes looking. It also rewards players being engaged with the investigation of their surroundings.
    Imho she focusses on the wrong things: I hear stuff like "I've spent 4 hours making a random encounter table." and other stuff like "wait I got to reread that rule x." and we are not the best rules buffs in the world. We usually decide to let the DM just wing it and check it later if it comes up more often. We really try to support her.

    But it really feels like she has NO idea what kind of plot she wants. We have a secret underground tribe from a one-shot before this became our main campaign that we decided to ignore in favor of looking for other mutants further away from the city. Our character motivations barely mix (I want to protect the scrapper, the scrapper wants to build and see the world, the male prost. just wants to work and enjoy life, the doc prefers labs to outdoors, the merc does whatever pays best), we dont have a unified goal. It is a dumpster fire really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Dammit man, I said to use the MORALLY GREY flaming catapults!"
    Kriv, the Boastful - Dragonborn Fighter//Bard - Calm before the Storm
    Brimaz of Oreskos - Tabaxi Druid/Life Cleric - Labyrinth of Zaaar the Mad
    Ferrin - Human Swashbuckler - Shackles of Blood

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Hey I would like some help with my new character this is my first time playing anything like this coz most of my guy's are normally spellcasters to some degree.
    My new guy is a minotaur barbarian ( wolf totem warrior ) and he has a gladiator background but I have been thrown in at the deep end at level 5 so I am able to play at the same level as the other players I am with, but I don't know what I am doing with this guy I wanted to do something new so I decided to go with a character that isn't a spellcaster but I am struggling. Plz could u guys give me some ideas on how to portray and use his strength to my advantage he has 19 strength +4 but with most minotaur with them being evil or misunderstood I decided to make him lawful good. And his personality trates are " he dose what's right as expected by society to promote order and compassion" bit with all the minotaur I have seen in dnd being evil I don't know how to portray this or use his stats to my advantage plz could any of u help me.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Sporeegg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Maybe create your own thread for that? Like this!
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Dammit man, I said to use the MORALLY GREY flaming catapults!"
    Kriv, the Boastful - Dragonborn Fighter//Bard - Calm before the Storm
    Brimaz of Oreskos - Tabaxi Druid/Life Cleric - Labyrinth of Zaaar the Mad
    Ferrin - Human Swashbuckler - Shackles of Blood

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    Hey I am going to be role playing my first game as a DM on wednesday but I don't feel prepend is their any advice anyone could give me I have all the guide and I have started setting up the campaign but I am struggling with the backstory for the main mission

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Advice for a struggling game

    I have another problem I wasn't abLe to role play my dragonborn coz it was to overpowered so I am now role playing a tabaxi necromancer but I was just wondering could I use my 20ft of climbing speed and then double it using my Feline Agility or dose it only work on my normal movement speed

Posting Permissions

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