Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Ok. So.

    After some discussion with a player in my Dresden Files RPG game. I've come to the conclusion that the problem he's having is that he REALLY wants a vs. match rather than a cooperative game.

    He WANT'S to be scheming and plotting and have everyone schemeing and plotting against him and everyone is scheming and plotting and trying to outplay and out plan one another to wipe everyone else out. Or at least his side vs. There side.

    So.

    Being that this isn't what I wanted this campaign to be. I have hit on an idea. Have him Co-GM with me a retro style dungeon crawler geared toward being a meat grinder. Let the players know in advance that this is an unrelated side game, it's role-play none existent, and just have a stack of characters ready to go into service cause it's a meat grinder, players vs. GM.

    Then he's getting a different game that's what he likes, and either he'll calm the hell down in my Dresden Files game, or I'll at least be able to boot him from it with sound frame of mind that I went above and beyond trying to meet him half way first.



    That said, I need help finding a system:

    Requirements:

    Inexpensive and easy to learn. Time and money, sadly, are at a premium.

    Beyond that.

    I need something that people can slap a name and a bunch of numbers and labels on and have a playable character ready to go in like, 3-15 minutes. Even a high level one. A system were if people die often and in large numbers, its no big deal for the party to have already all just spent an hour ahead of the game generating random characters, and to all just go to the next sheet in there respective stacks.

    And I need a system that understands it's playing in a retro style of "There's a dungeon, your there, explore it and kill whatever's in there and loot it, and try not to die in the process, while the GM is trying to either roll a fatal encounter, or out wit you into death with traps or monster locations."

    Ideally, I want something were everyone can just conference call in form home for a couple of hours a week and play with minimal mapping involved, or were we can just create a privet group and upload snap shots of the map and miniatures while a conference call is ongoing. Thus letting the other players not have to sink as much time and effort into dealing with this.





    Does anyone have a good system that meets these criteria?
    "I Burn!"

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    I don't think it's a perfect match, but you could take a look at Dungeon Crawl Classics.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    What systems do you or your group already know? I can think of a handful where it's not too hard to make a PC (assuming not spending a lot of time to make maximally optimal PCs), but it might take some time to learn the nuances.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Ideally, I want something were everyone can just conference call in form home for a couple of hours a week and play with minimal mapping involved, or were we can just create a privet group and upload snap shots of the map and miniatures while a conference call is ongoing. Thus letting the other players not have to sink as much time and effort into dealing with this.
    This part seems a relatively strong limiter in that it means most grid-based combat, where exact distances matter, is probably out.
    That said, it still leaves a lot of games open.

    Fate and Fate Accelerated have free rules online, and work decently well for quick PC creation, relatively easy rules (especially Accelerated), and not needing a gridded map -- but the style of the game might not work well for a dungeon crawl. Though maybe those more experienced with the system can explain how you can. (I've got minimal experience.)

    In some ways, Paranoia comes to mind. The PCs don't need to know almost anything, so only you DMs would need to learn the real rules. Though you'd probably want to refluff a few things and run it more serious than the game intends. So it might not fit the 'time' constraint. (I think you can get a PDF online or physical copy for pretty cheap.)

    I could see D&D if you limit it in ways like solo-classing, no minions or shapeshifting, and spellcasters gotta have their spells written out. Those things minimize time spent optimizing PCs or looking up rules mid-game or bogging down play with minions. But it is usually grid-intensive. And unless your group already knows the same edition and has a couple books, expensive in time and money.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Does he want to GM a game? And why would that change the way he plays his PC in your game? Has he agreed to any part of this plan, like being a more cooperative player in your game if he can also run this meatgrinder dungeon? Did he actually say that is what he likes?

    It sounds like you don't want to play in this hypothetical game, and you don't expect or want the other players to want to either, with sentiments like "not having to sink much time and effort into dealing with it". That's a pretty disrespectful way to look at it, considering the GM of this game is likely going to need to put in considerable effort to prepare and run it, if he's actually trying to challenge you and make it fun. Also, your understanding of what a retro-style game is is not really accurate or universal- that it's "role play non-existent", that they'll go through stacks of character sheets, that the GM's role is trying to kill the PCs.

    It seems like the simpler way would be just to tell him that you don't want PvP or PCs working against one another in your game, so please give up on any plans he has against the other PCs and work as a team. Offer to let him make a different character if he thinks the one he has is inappropriate for your game. If he refuses to accept your rules and the type of game you're running, then he probably doesn't want to play in your game, right? Your responsibility to him is to be honest about your expectations. You don't need to offer him a proverbial cookie, that he probably doesn't want anyway, in return for asserting your authority over your own game.

    That said,
    Paranoia is a fun one-off or short campaign sort of game where players are assumed/required to have secrets from each other and be constantly trying to plot against one another out of self-preservation, while dealing with a big-brother style computer overlord. The mechanics are very simple and doesn't usually use maps or minis or anything.

    An actual retro-style dungeon crawl requires maps and mapping, and is probably better with minis and measurements for combat, too. Any of the clones of Basic D&D have relatively fast and simple character creation. Labyrinth Lord is the free clone of Basic D&D you can get from Goblinoid Games.
    If you offer to Co-GM with him, to have him GM his own game, then his game would deserve the same amount of thought, effort and respect from you and the other players as you expect them to put into your game. assuming he's putting thought and effort into arranging it for you.
    Of course, if he agrees to this plan at all, you'll obviously need to let him choose what system he's going to run and how he'll do it, whether it is over conference call or on roll20 or whatever.
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2018-10-30 at 05:30 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Seems to me he would shine in a highly political VtM game or any good politicial/intrigue based game where plotting and outmaneuvering your opponents is the focus of the game
    Optimizing vs Roleplay
    If the worlds greatest optimizer makes a character and hands it to the worlds greatest roleplayer who roleplays the character. What will happen? Will the Universe implode?

    Roleplaying vs Fun
    If roleplaying is no fun then stop doing it. Unless of course you are roleplaying at gunpoint then you should roleplay like your life depended on it.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (second ed being my preference) would work - its combat based, characters can be put together in minutes (roll stats, roll career, list your starting equipment, spend some xp on upgrades if you want stronger characters, and away you go), and the breadth of starting classes means that you won't feel like you are playing carbon copy characters after the first few deaths.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    I don't think it's a perfect match, but you could take a look at Dungeon Crawl Classics.

    Do you have a link too it by chance?


    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    What systems do you or your group already know? I can think of a handful where it's not too hard to make a PC (assuming not spending a lot of time to make maximally optimal PCs), but it might take some time to learn the nuances.




    This part seems a relatively strong limiter in that it means most grid-based combat, where exact distances matter, is probably out.
    That said, it still leaves a lot of games open.

    Fate and Fate Accelerated have free rules online, and work decently well for quick PC creation, relatively easy rules (especially Accelerated), and not needing a gridded map -- but the style of the game might not work well for a dungeon crawl. Though maybe those more experienced with the system can explain how you can. (I've got minimal experience.)

    In some ways, Paranoia comes to mind. The PCs don't need to know almost anything, so only you DMs would need to learn the real rules. Though you'd probably want to refluff a few things and run it more serious than the game intends. So it might not fit the 'time' constraint. (I think you can get a PDF online or physical copy for pretty cheap.)

    I could see D&D if you limit it in ways like solo-classing, no minions or shapeshifting, and spellcasters gotta have their spells written out. Those things minimize time spent optimizing PCs or looking up rules mid-game or bogging down play with minions. But it is usually grid-intensive. And unless your group already knows the same edition and has a couple books, expensive in time and money.
    We have and know 3.5 D&D decently.

    We have FATE and M&M 3rd Edition, though I probably know those two best. They haven't given me the impression that they are what I'm looking for.

    I, don't think it will prove that restrictive. I'll make a Privet Facebook or Discord group, post photos of the grid with my phone every time it changes. Boom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Does he want to GM a game? And why would that change the way he plays his PC in your game? Has he agreed to any part of this plan, like being a more cooperative player in your game if he can also run this meatgrinder dungeon? Did he actually say that is what he likes?

    It sounds like you don't want to play in this hypothetical game, and you don't expect or want the other players to want to either, with sentiments like "not having to sink much time and effort into dealing with it". That's a pretty disrespectful way to look at it, considering the GM of this game is likely going to need to put in considerable effort to prepare and run it, if he's actually trying to challenge you and make it fun. Also, your understanding of what a retro-style game is is not really accurate or universal- that it's "role play non-existent", that they'll go through stacks of character sheets, that the GM's role is trying to kill the PCs.

    It seems like the simpler way would be just to tell him that you don't want PvP or PCs working against one another in your game, so please give up on any plans he has against the other PCs and work as a team. Offer to let him make a different character if he thinks the one he has is inappropriate for your game. If he refuses to accept your rules and the type of game you're running, then he probably doesn't want to play in your game, right? Your responsibility to him is to be honest about your expectations. You don't need to offer him a proverbial cookie, that he probably doesn't want anyway, in return for asserting your authority over your own game.

    That said,
    Paranoia is a fun one-off or short campaign sort of game where players are assumed/required to have secrets from each other and be constantly trying to plot against one another out of self-preservation, while dealing with a big-brother style computer overlord. The mechanics are very simple and doesn't usually use maps or minis or anything.

    An actual retro-style dungeon crawl requires maps and mapping, and is probably better with minis and measurements for combat, too. Any of the clones of Basic D&D have relatively fast and simple character creation. Labyrinth Lord is the free clone of Basic D&D you can get from Goblinoid Games.
    If you offer to Co-GM with him, to have him GM his own game, then his game would deserve the same amount of thought, effort and respect from you and the other players as you expect them to put into your game. assuming he's putting thought and effort into arranging it for you.
    Of course, if he agrees to this plan at all, you'll obviously need to let him choose what system he's going to run and how he'll do it, whether it is over conference call or on roll20 or whatever.
    He's not opposed to co DMing. He wants to do things, but does't want to have to math at everything all the time, so he doesn't want to Solo GM. At least not yet. If he builds comfort with a system, he might.

    I don't know that he will. Here's my general plan.

    1: Find meat grinder-is dungeon crawler system and procure it. Get comfortable enough to walk him through running stuff. Do this as rapidly as possible.

    2: Make him an offer. I'll help him run this and get good enough to run it himself and run the group through it, so that he can have his competitive contests of wits and dominance. In exchange, he agrees to stop acting out and messing the group dynamic up in MY game.

    3: If he doesn't agree, or doesn't keep up his end of the bargain, I give him 1-2 warnings about it, then an Ultimatum to knock it the hell off or leave the main group Im currently running. If he keeps it up, I kick him, and I can not only tell everyone, I have already shown them that I did everything possible to make this fun for everyone, but he just wouldn't give an inch.

    I'd be Co-Gming this thing with him, at least to start. He almost certainly won't be comfortable enough to not have it that way to start. That said, It's not about disrespect, it's about the realty of a lot of grown ups with full time jobs, most of them parents, and there scheduling availability.


    As for Retro, I understand as time went on this went away, but come on, look around this Forum. You see reminiscing or explaining "this is how it was." all the time. Though if it helps, Imagine Tome Of Horror's. Now imagine it being planned to run the characters from level 1 to level 20 before the final confrontation, all of which happens just inside the tomb and going back to town to rest and resupply here and there. The game get's thought and effort. Just all in the form of figuring out were he hid the traps and what weird powers he gave the monsters and were he hid the treasure, vs. were our "characters" come form and why they are a holy man, fighting man, mage and thief. That latter part is relevant.

    That's what I'm looking for. except I don't want to use actual AD&D cause I don't want to have to deal with THAC0 or the kind of insane mathematical detail involved.

    I've asked him about it. But he doesn't really follow through. This is not the first game or character or GM he's done this with. But he's also the spouse of another player and an out of game friend of most of the party, and I don't want a mess made of that just cause he's got a particular kind of game he wants, and it clashes with my desire to have characters whom are characters, and preferably have some aspect of that be that there at least not adverse to being heroic.

    So I am trying to use both Carrot and stick, in the hopes I won't need the stick. But It will be there and ready worse comes to it.


    Do you have a link of Labyrinth Lord?

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    Seems to me he would shine in a highly political VtM game or any good politicial/intrigue based game where plotting and outmaneuvering your opponents is the focus of the game
    I tried that. I couldn't get him to get it through his head that certain mechanical options would be fairly important to doing that, in the manner in which he WANTED to do it, and that he could do it to the whole damn world, just not at level 1 and not to the party. It went badly. He got a small taste of high level 3.5 playing for the villain team a few campaigns ago under another DM, who's a party member, and seems to have taken too it perhaps too well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (second ed being my preference) would work - its combat based, characters can be put together in minutes (roll stats, roll career, list your starting equipment, spend some xp on upgrades if you want stronger characters, and away you go), and the breadth of starting classes means that you won't feel like you are playing carbon copy characters after the first few deaths.
    Got a link? This sounds very much in the vein of what I am looking for. =)
    "I Burn!"

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post

    Got a link? This sounds very much in the vein of what I am looking for. =)
    I've PMed you a link

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    mephnick's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    There's always D&D 5e. It can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. You can make a character in 5 minutes if you don't worry about multiclassing. The rules are pretty easy to learn.

    D&D is still purely a resource attrition dungeon crawl game, despite how people try and abuse and twist it into something it's not. You have a good opportunity to actually use D&D for what it's meant to be used for.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    There's always D&D 5e. It can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. You can make a character in 5 minutes if you don't worry about multiclassing. The rules are pretty easy to learn.

    D&D is still purely a resource attrition dungeon crawl game, despite how people try and abuse and twist it into something it's not. You have a good opportunity to actually use D&D for what it's meant to be used for.
    Eh, I dunno. Seems like all the time spent expecting you to have and use Backgrounds and there various benefits/con's would quickly run interference on what I'm going for here. I expect the only things for the players to really know are "Name: List of Gear: Class and related abilities/powers/options: Skills if they apply: Any ability that qualify as "Outside" the lists given: Maybe level/point totals if applicable."
    "I Burn!"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Earth

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    I would recommend Swords & Wizardry. The basic rules are free and it is one of the most dead simple systems you could every hope to find. Character creation takes about two minutes and most of that is writing stuff down. It's very meat grindery, characters are squishy but easily replaced. It's also built specifically for dungeon crawling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Why be Evil when you can be Lawful?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    +1 on Swords and Wizardry. If you want something that's like old D&D, that does what old D&D does, you might as well play a reorganization and reprint of actual old D&D.
    Current project: Tomb of the Pale Gate, an ongoing series of flavorful encounters and adventure hooks to be adapted for any fantastic RP system

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    As for Retro, I understand as time went on this went away, but come on, look around this Forum. You see reminiscing or explaining "this is how it was." all the time. Though if it helps, Imagine Tome Of Horror's. Now imagine it being planned to run the characters from level 1 to level 20 before the final confrontation, all of which happens just inside the tomb and going back to town to rest and resupply here and there. The game get's thought and effort. Just all in the form of figuring out were he hid the traps and what weird powers he gave the monsters and were he hid the treasure, vs. were our "characters" come form and why they are a holy man, fighting man, mage and thief. That latter part is relevant.

    That's what I'm looking for. except I don't want to use actual AD&D cause I don't want to have to deal with THAC0 or the kind of insane mathematical detail involved.

    Do you have a link of Labyrinth Lord?
    Yes, characters can die at any time in retro D&D, low level characters don't have a lot of hit points. Yes, the format of the Basic game was that there is a home town or settlement, a nearby dungeon and maybe a small wilderness in between. The dungeon gets more difficult as you go to deeper levels/floors, basically coinciding with the level of the characters. You go in, get as much treasure as you can, and get out to heal up and gain XP, hopefully having lost as few characters as possible.

    But Tomb of Horrors is not representative of that style of game - that was a one-off module designed to challenge high level players for a convention. It was impossibly deadly to an exaggerated degree, it was never meant to be played as part of a campaign but to challenge players who thought they were "the best of the best" at this one event. There are no other adventures or modules anything like Tomb of Horrors.

    Going from 1-20 wasn't assured in any way - there wasn't a hard limit at level 20, but it was very rare for campaigns to go that far. Gaining levels was much slower if you followed the guidelines in the books and modules for awarding treasure, so getting characters from 1 to 20 or higher would probably be a multi-year campaign with weekly sessions.

    Basic/Expert D&D ends at level 13, and the last few levels are primarily domain building - fighters and clerics getting strongholds and armies of followers and clearing the wilderness around their castle of monsters - magic users are building towers and laboratories to research/create spells or make magic items. The supplements which introduce levels up to 36 put characters on the path to potential immortality/godhood. AD&D had high level adventures going to the underdark and other planes/the abyss/hell, fighting demons and demon lords. High level characters (around level 10), were still able to build strongholds and gather armies/followers, so the game could change to domain management instead of dungeon delving at that point if they wanted (or alternate between fighting with armies and going on adventures).

    Basically, the basic/expert game had level 10-13 as the point where characters could/would transition away from dungeon crawling - either the game ends around this point and you start with some new characters in a new dungeon, or you start playing politics and armies or traveling planes/save the world type stuff. There wasn't a "now go to the meatgrinder with your level-capped characters and see who wins" adventure. That is certainly a thing you can do for your own game, it might be fun, but it is not following the "retro style".

    Dungeon Crawl Classics - which unfortunately isn't available for free - has the meatgrinder at the beginning. You randomly generate a bunch of level 0 characters and send them into the "adventurer funnel", where most of them are expected to die. Those that survive become a level 1 character with an adventurer class, at which point the lethality is actually expected to go down because they get more HP and have actual spells and abilities and decent equipment. This is an exaggerated version of what would happen in real retro D&D - characters at level 1-3 die more easily than later, and the early adventures might serve as a sort of "weeding out" process where players go through a few characters before finding one that survives, or an education for the players, learning how to play in a way that keeps their characters alive long enough to level up (working together, being prepared with useful equipment, tactical thinking, making use of hirelings, etc).

    Also - these games don't require some kind of "insane mathematical detail". If anything, you need less math in your head, because most everything is written out in tables that you can just look up "he's level 2, he rolled a 13, the chart says that means he hit AC 6." Save vs poison? look at the table. Even when you do some little bit of math in your head, the only math you need is addition and subtraction. Add up the d6's for the fireball damage. Add the bonus from your magic weapon to the attack roll. substract the damage from your hit point total. Sometimes multiply a die roll to determine how many coins are in a monster's hoard (there's such a thing as calculators for that). There's not much more to it. There's no reason for you or him or anyone to be intimidated by the mathematics required to play any retro version of D&D.

    Labyrinth Lord (and other free games from Goblinoid using a similar basic D&D system)
    http://goblinoidgames.com/index.php/downloads/

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Really, cause, as I'm given to understand, Gary Gygax was very, very big on the idea that the DM's job, among other things, was to trick the players into going deeper into the dungeon sooner than expected, in order to make them face things they were not ready for, and kill them. In fact you had whole abilities, like Dwarves, being designed with an eye toward there special thing being "there really good at not falling for this" at the time.



    And your missing a part of the point. The person in question WANTS to be matching wits with and opposing and competing against a room full of people. I am trying to offer him an environment were he's not ruining the game for multiple people while he has that, in exchange for him cooperating with my game being an actual normal role playing game.
    "I Burn!"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    The person in question WANTS to be matching wits with and opposing and competing against a room full of people.
    I think you have a very weird view of how dungeon crawling really works. See, one of the reasons that a gm was also called judge or referee back than, is based on the assumption that they will stay totally neutral at handling the rules and the scenario for their players. What's wrong, too, with your whole idea is that really no one likes playing meat grinders and people will quit after the first or second session.

    Someone already mentioned it, but you didn't give a plausible answer to it: When your player is interested in PvP, why don't you play a game that explicitly allows for it, like Vampire?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Really, cause, as I'm given to understand, Gary Gygax was very, very big on the idea that the DM's job, among other things, was to trick the players into going deeper into the dungeon sooner than expected, in order to make them face things they were not ready for, and kill them. In fact you had whole abilities, like Dwarves, being designed with an eye toward there special thing being "there really good at not falling for this" at the time.



    And your missing a part of the point. The person in question WANTS to be matching wits with and opposing and competing against a room full of people. I am trying to offer him an environment were he's not ruining the game for multiple people while he has that, in exchange for him cooperating with my game being an actual normal role playing game.
    I think it's a mistake to equate the enjoyment of plotting as a player against other players on an equal playing field with the enjoyment of building challenging dungeons for players to explore, in which you are expected to provide them with a chance at success and to be a fair and unbiased referee. Maybe the overlap is in setting tricks and traps and seeing if the players fall for them or get unlucky on their rolls - but the DM isn't moving pieces around a board like a strategy game, adjusting to the players actions as they solve or fail to solve the challenges. I suppose you could design a game like that - a dungeon strategy game in which the DM controls a finite number of monsters and the traps of the dungeon itself, with a hard set of limits and rules defining what the DM can do and when, and the players are literally pitting wits against him/her as they move their pieces around the map looking for things. Hero Quest was a little bit like that. But that is not what retro dungeon crawling RPGs are like.

    if a DM is just trying to kill the characters, it's really easy to do. RPGs aren't generally designed in such a way that the players have any sort of fair chance if the GM wants to throw things at them that they can't beat. So the way a DM pits his wits against the players is to carefully design dungeons in which the players have a chance of success if they are smart, and not just through random dumb luck. The challenge for the DM is to make something that is fun and challenging for the players, and then to act as an objective and fair referee when they play it, to see how his design works. It's not like a war game where players can pit all the resources at their command toward defeating one another, except in the case of limited encounters where the DM is representing an enemy and pitting tactics against the players.


    I'm not saying dungeons aren't dangerous and designed with tricks and traps to potentially kill characters. But they aren't often "Tomb of Horrors" style insanity, which is basically a series of deadly traps that can mostly only be discovered by trial-and-error. People who succeed at it generally played through it multiple times, learning on each pass through how all the tricks and traps worked and bringing better suited characters, spells and equipment each time, in addition to just generally getting lucky. It was more like a video game than most TTRPG modules, in that way - you just keep trying it until you win or get so frustrated that you stop trying.

    Playing Basic or AD&D by the book, no fudging dice, no pulling punches on behalf of the monsters, will be difficult and deadly for low level characters especially- but will become a lot less so when players learn how to play properly. It can be as tricky or as basic as the DM wants to make it. But I'm not sure that GMing Dungeon Crawl RPG would satisfy the desire to have one's wits pitted against the other players. Maybe a game that is more tactical combat game, like 4e D&D, where you could basically just run each session as a single big combat encounter in an interesting environment, with him playing the enemy forces against your characters. He can follow the guidelines for creating fair and balanced encounters, and then do his best to beat you in the fight, which will likely take a couple hours at least. Then you set up another encounter for next time, maybe it's related in a story sequence, but it wouldn't have to be. Of course, doing this remotely instead of in person with a grid and minis would be very difficult to impossible. But that's really the sort of thing I imagine when talking about enjoying competing against other players - he wants a strategy game. Maybe instead of an RPG at all, you find an online version of a strategy board game that everyone can get into. Plotting, planning, using your wits, making deals, etc. Something like Twilight Imperium or Civilization.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    I think you have a very weird view of how dungeon crawling really works. See, one of the reasons that a gm was also called judge or referee back than, is based on the assumption that they will stay totally neutral at handling the rules and the scenario for their players. What's wrong, too, with your whole idea is that really no one likes playing meat grinders and people will quit after the first or second session.

    Someone already mentioned it, but you didn't give a plausible answer to it: When your player is interested in PvP, why don't you play a game that explicitly allows for it, like Vampire?
    I have finite gaming resources in terms of money and time I can sink into the hobby. Most of it has gone into systems were loosing a character because 1 person doesn't want to play nice isn't something most are going to be all that down for. If I MUST learn a whole new damn system, I want something as quick and painless as possible. Particularly since no matter what, at least at first, I'll be stuck in the GM chair.

    Add that I will also be trying to maintain the other game that is more enjoyable by and large except when he does his ****. The one I give a flying $@&! about. The one were other people put effort into building cool characters. And I'd have to now either cut the number of sessions for that down to one a month, or rework my time resources substantially more in order to be meticulously planning stuff for my PC's to do in a world were everyone is out to break it and kill everyone else, including the people sitting in the room with them as it were, to get too the top, to keep 1 persons inability to be cooperative if Carrot and Stick are not in play, handled.


    Is THAT a good enough reason to instead give him half the GM work for this little venture. To relegate the time to assemble and run the game. To use a system that can be learned VERY rapidly. And of course, to engineer it so that I don't have players getting livid at me when they spend months on a character only to have this guy do something that would have Machiavelli looking at him and shaking his head going "Dude, what the actual %$&@ was that about?! Too much man." cause the character was a random name and some numbers and listed gear and only there as a means to match collective wits with the GM?




    Look.

    Do you guys wanna know why I'm in this situation? He was in a group I'd joined. Some idiot who though he knew what he was doing "Helped" him build his first character in a 3.5 game. A fighter. He couldn't do **** with it. And the DM was determined to not let him retrain until level 6, when everyone would have the option to make changes. He was level 4 just to give you an idea. Part of the problem was the other player has a massive ego and wanted to be the best dude who is awesome in the party, and the other part is that he doesn't know 3.5 half as well as he though he did.

    So I join in. I am DESPERATLY trying to get him to hang in there till level 4 and to try Warblade, and he can't do it, it's been months of slogging and not being able to win a damn thing or accomplish 1 thing that matters with out obvious narrative convenience.

    So he abandons that character, rolls something new. He insists he wants to be an archer. I try to steer him toward cleric archer, but dumbass mac "I wanna be most awesome" pants who advised him on the fighter agues about clerics being healers, and uses the PHB assumption's to convince him not to use Cleric. So I manage to steer him into a swift hunter built with a 1 level dip for Travel Devotion, and talk the DM into the idea of a bow that back talks him but helps him with knowledge checks and he also snags knowledge devotion on his one level dip.

    This works ok for a few levels, but eventually, we pass level six, he's not a good sniper like he though he'd become, and magic is starting to over take what he can do. So around level 9 or 10, we get a second crack at retraining, So I help him build a battle cleric. Thing is, he has trouble getting a handle on the spell casting. All he wants in high level D&D is to hit things and be versatile.

    Eventually, he hits on an idea of his own. And get's the DM on board with it as part of a "Story.". And turns on the party and joins in with the BBEG's, but retains control of his character. Getting to have privet sessions with the DM to collaborate and design parts of there fortifications and defense strategy's as were playing on the big scales now in the campaign anyway, armies are involved, bases and high end labs are being stormed and taken, all kinds of stuff.

    And, for the most part, he LOVED it. He's got an actively evil character trying to out play and out wit the NPC's, but more importantly, the party. And outwitting and out playing does, in fact, mean and include killing. And he's managed to cause enough damage with the double cross that no one's character is feeling overly forgiving. And he's getting to do all of this with out having to master a hugh spells list.

    So he got too do that for the majority of the remainder of the game till very near the very end.

    Got a real taste for it.

    Course, he also had someone helping with the mechanics, so he didn't have to do the heavy lifting there.



    Anyway, game ends. I wind up DMing for abit. Dude basically can't wait too get into a similar situation. Ignores that I kept telling the party "This is not Game Of Thrones, you are not to go looking to plot against one another!" and starts looking to TPK the party on purpose any chance he get's. Im juggling a large party, trying to do cool stuff for them, and I've got this. I told them no Evil, he wants to be Evil, so plays neutral as close to evil as possible, he LIKES Game of Thrones and such things you see.

    Finally things got to a point were I needed something I could run that was mechanically simpler.


    Around that time I was exposed to Dresdenfiles RPG. A friend of a friend ran a 3 session game for a group, including a bunch of my players, and I got them on board with swapping over too that for awhile, and borrowed the books from the guy.

    I already liked the Novels and the Lore, and I know he does as well, and I was hoping that would be enough to get this guy to freaking cooperate.

    It wasn't. At the end of the day, he took too much to going head to head with the group. And so I find myself in this situation.




    I. HAVE. To do this this way. Because this is the last ditch effort not to have to risk messing up a friend group due to a serious clash in what people want out of games we are in. I give him this, and it's his carrot as long as he get's it in gear over in The Dresden Files game. He get's to try and out tactics the group a couple of times a month.

    And I get to have a happy, engaged group.

    It's either what I've proposed, or I skip that step, warn him more sternly, and then when that's ignored Issue an Ultimatum and then whatever out of game damage happens, happens, and I get to pray its not too bad when it's over.


    I am honestly baffled at the amount of "Don't drag retro meat grinders through the mud! Do other stuff!" I'm getting here.

    Particularly when up thread, I've got people like mephnick Expressly recommending D&D 5E cause apparently to D&D right, you were always suppose to have it just be a meat grinder dungeon crawler based around resources, and to do anything else is torturing it into a shape it as not meant to go into.

    And that there are stacks of things Gygax said and wrote over the years from back in the day that support this being the sort of thing that was expected for the most part. Don't get too attached too that character yet for much of the early years.




    Thrudd: Is, this the same 4E with like a dozen different classes for each role that do the same thing with a different coat of paint, books and books and books full of nothing but Gear and Powers the PC's have to pick through, and rolling below a 15 or so on any check, even one your suppose to be good at, is basically sure to fail pretty much always?

    I wanted something that would accommodate a meat grinder. Not make it worse than it needs be. I'm not digging 4E for that at all.
    "I Burn!"

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    I have finite gaming resources in terms of money and time I can sink into the hobby. Most of it has gone into systems were loosing a character because 1 person doesn't want to play nice isn't something most are going to be all that down for. If I MUST learn a whole new damn system, I want something as quick and painless as possible. Particularly since no matter what, at least at first, I'll be stuck in the GM chair.

    Add that I will also be trying to maintain the other game that is more enjoyable by and large except when he does his ****. The one I give a flying $@&! about. The one were other people put effort into building cool characters. And I'd have to now either cut the number of sessions for that down to one a month, or rework my time resources substantially more in order to be meticulously planning stuff for my PC's to do in a world were everyone is out to break it and kill everyone else, including the people sitting in the room with them as it were, to get too the top, to keep 1 persons inability to be cooperative if Carrot and Stick are not in play, handled.


    Is THAT a good enough reason to instead give him half the GM work for this little venture. To relegate the time to assemble and run the game. To use a system that can be learned VERY rapidly. And of course, to engineer it so that I don't have players getting livid at me when they spend months on a character only to have this guy do something that would have Machiavelli looking at him and shaking his head going "Dude, what the actual %$&@ was that about?! Too much man." cause the character was a random name and some numbers and listed gear and only there as a means to match collective wits with the GM?




    Look.

    Do you guys wanna know why I'm in this situation? He was in a group I'd joined. Some idiot who though he knew what he was doing "Helped" him build his first character in a 3.5 game. A fighter. He couldn't do **** with it. And the DM was determined to not let him retrain until level 6, when everyone would have the option to make changes. He was level 4 just to give you an idea. Part of the problem was the other player has a massive ego and wanted to be the best dude who is awesome in the party, and the other part is that he doesn't know 3.5 half as well as he though he did.

    So I join in. I am DESPERATLY trying to get him to hang in there till level 4 and to try Warblade, and he can't do it, it's been months of slogging and not being able to win a damn thing or accomplish 1 thing that matters with out obvious narrative convenience.

    So he abandons that character, rolls something new. He insists he wants to be an archer. I try to steer him toward cleric archer, but dumbass mac "I wanna be most awesome" pants who advised him on the fighter agues about clerics being healers, and uses the PHB assumption's to convince him not to use Cleric. So I manage to steer him into a swift hunter built with a 1 level dip for Travel Devotion, and talk the DM into the idea of a bow that back talks him but helps him with knowledge checks and he also snags knowledge devotion on his one level dip.

    This works ok for a few levels, but eventually, we pass level six, he's not a good sniper like he though he'd become, and magic is starting to over take what he can do. So around level 9 or 10, we get a second crack at retraining, So I help him build a battle cleric. Thing is, he has trouble getting a handle on the spell casting. All he wants in high level D&D is to hit things and be versatile.

    Eventually, he hits on an idea of his own. And get's the DM on board with it as part of a "Story.". And turns on the party and joins in with the BBEG's, but retains control of his character. Getting to have privet sessions with the DM to collaborate and design parts of there fortifications and defense strategy's as were playing on the big scales now in the campaign anyway, armies are involved, bases and high end labs are being stormed and taken, all kinds of stuff.

    And, for the most part, he LOVED it. He's got an actively evil character trying to out play and out wit the NPC's, but more importantly, the party. And outwitting and out playing does, in fact, mean and include killing. And he's managed to cause enough damage with the double cross that no one's character is feeling overly forgiving. And he's getting to do all of this with out having to master a hugh spells list.

    So he got too do that for the majority of the remainder of the game till very near the very end.

    Got a real taste for it.

    Course, he also had someone helping with the mechanics, so he didn't have to do the heavy lifting there.



    Anyway, game ends. I wind up DMing for abit. Dude basically can't wait too get into a similar situation. Ignores that I kept telling the party "This is not Game Of Thrones, you are not to go looking to plot against one another!" and starts looking to TPK the party on purpose any chance he get's. Im juggling a large party, trying to do cool stuff for them, and I've got this. I told them no Evil, he wants to be Evil, so plays neutral as close to evil as possible, he LIKES Game of Thrones and such things you see.

    Finally things got to a point were I needed something I could run that was mechanically simpler.


    Around that time I was exposed to Dresdenfiles RPG. A friend of a friend ran a 3 session game for a group, including a bunch of my players, and I got them on board with swapping over too that for awhile, and borrowed the books from the guy.

    I already liked the Novels and the Lore, and I know he does as well, and I was hoping that would be enough to get this guy to freaking cooperate.

    It wasn't. At the end of the day, he took too much to going head to head with the group. And so I find myself in this situation.




    I. HAVE. To do this this way. Because this is the last ditch effort not to have to risk messing up a friend group due to a serious clash in what people want out of games we are in. I give him this, and it's his carrot as long as he get's it in gear over in The Dresden Files game. He get's to try and out tactics the group a couple of times a month.

    And I get to have a happy, engaged group.

    It's either what I've proposed, or I skip that step, warn him more sternly, and then when that's ignored Issue an Ultimatum and then whatever out of game damage happens, happens, and I get to pray its not too bad when it's over.


    I am honestly baffled at the amount of "Don't drag retro meat grinders through the mud! Do other stuff!" I'm getting here.

    Particularly when up thread, I've got people like mephnick Expressly recommending D&D 5E cause apparently to D&D right, you were always suppose to have it just be a meat grinder dungeon crawler based around resources, and to do anything else is torturing it into a shape it as not meant to go into.

    And that there are stacks of things Gygax said and wrote over the years from back in the day that support this being the sort of thing that was expected for the most part. Don't get too attached too that character yet for much of the early years.




    Thrudd: Is, this the same 4E with like a dozen different classes for each role that do the same thing with a different coat of paint, books and books and books full of nothing but Gear and Powers the PC's have to pick through, and rolling below a 15 or so on any check, even one your suppose to be good at, is basically sure to fail pretty much always?

    I wanted something that would accommodate a meat grinder. Not make it worse than it needs be. I'm not digging 4E for that at all.
    Yeah, I guess I was just thinking what sort of game would satisfy that desire to be in direct competition in a more direct and persistent way. That's why I ended up on strategy games- no need for a GM at all, 100% of the time spent plotting and planning the destruction of your friends with the same set of rules for everyone.

    Definitely, designing dungeons to challenge your friends is satisfying, as well, and you can surely make a "meat grinder" that is difficult enough to kill characters in droves. but I'm not confident that it would fulfill the sort of directly antagonistic drive that this player has had a taste of. Maybe I'm wrong, and being able to design traps, ambushes and to play all the monsters in combat will do it for him. I just wonder whether it might not be a lot more work than he is willing to put in, it is definitely way more work than you want to do for a game you don't want to play at all.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Metahuman1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Seeking Dungeon Crawlers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Yeah, I guess I was just thinking what sort of game would satisfy that desire to be in direct competition in a more direct and persistent way. That's why I ended up on strategy games- no need for a GM at all, 100% of the time spent plotting and planning the destruction of your friends with the same set of rules for everyone.

    Definitely, designing dungeons to challenge your friends is satisfying, as well, and you can surely make a "meat grinder" that is difficult enough to kill characters in droves. but I'm not confident that it would fulfill the sort of directly antagonistic drive that this player has had a taste of. Maybe I'm wrong, and being able to design traps, ambushes and to play all the monsters in combat will do it for him. I just wonder whether it might not be a lot more work than he is willing to put in, it is definitely way more work than you want to do for a game you don't want to play at all.
    Maybe it will be more work than he wants. That's one reason I wanted a mechanically simply system. To minimize this. And maybe it will be more than he can keep up with anyway. At which point I can tell him if he wants to be an antagonist, he can be one over here, but keep it the hell out of my Dresden Files game.

    Then if he doesn't do it, I at least have the fact that I tried it to hold up when I point out he needs to do it anyway. He had a chance to pull this crap in an environment were it wasn't fun exclusively for him.

    It gives me a very firm moral high ground to tell him off and if necessary, to stop having him come to sessions for Dresden Files from. And room to extend a partial olive branch of "No, you can't do Dresdenfiles, but let me know if you want to do that Dungeon Crawler, that we can do.".
    "I Burn!"

Posting Permissions

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