Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 79

Thread: Plan vs Improv

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Plan vs Improv

    So I have always been a plan type DM for D&D. I write or adapt an adventure with a set timeline and series of events. The PCs can change things sure, but I always like having the frame work.

    And then I had a game last weekend.

    So it was me as DM, with only one other player I knew, and three new to me players. So I put together a simple adventure: Save Daydale. The basic plot is a war in the background, and a band of goblin raiders has been spotted moving towards the town. The goblins sack a couple of villages, and with everyone focused on the war...there is no one to stop them except the PCs. As DayDale is their hometown.

    So the game starts on June 1st, and I set June 3rd, at dusk, is when the goblins plan to attack. The goblins are still gathering their forces south of the town at some old ruins, and specifically the worg riders won't reach the main force until the morning of June 3rd.

    The players don't know the above, of course, and they choose to dig in and be ready to defend the town. So June 1st and 2nd roll by as the PCs just wait...and noting happens. Then on the morning of June 3rd, the PCs all agree to stop waiting and go find the goblins. They pick north as the direction to go and head off. So they have a couple random encounters for a couple days, then on June 5th they get worried that they have left the town unguarded and head back. Of course when they get back to Daydale, they find it destroyed. As per my plan, at dusk on June 3...the same day the PCs left town and headed north....the goblins attacked from the south.

    And this is where we stopped playing. The three new to me players were all upset: they wanted a fun adventure game. So at first it was all directed at me, as I should have done something different...but no one could tell me what that was. And it really hit the fan when I mentioned my timeline with the attack date and time. This is where they really jumped on that a DM should not plan ahead for stuff like that and the DM should just improv all the time.

    I was a bit taken back by that, as it was so odd. The whole point of a timeline to me, is so the DM can resist the temptation to just do whatever they want. After all, A DM could just wait for five minutes after the PCs say they will defend the town and say here come the goblins. To me though, that is kind of shaky ground. The players seemed to think it was a great idea though. I guess the idea was that no matter what the PCs did, the action and adventure would just come right to them? So the complaint is that I let the Pcs sit around and do nothing, while I knew the goblins would not attack for days. And I guess the answer was that as soon as the players decided to make the stand, I should of just had the goblins attack.

    So, I wonder why even make a plan, if the idea is just toss it out the window if the players want? And that leads to the shaky ground. So if I have no plan, just know there are goblins, then I can have anything happen at any time. This seems great to have a plot, as I can just make things happen around the PCs. No matter what the players do, the adventure will be right in front of them. Take the goblins location for example, in my plan they were in some ruins south of town. The Ccs headed north, and so did not encounter the goblin forces. It sounds right to me, but they complained that the goblins should have just been in the north when they went north. My counter was that the PCs did not gather any information in game, and just headed north. I had prepared plenty of signs of more goblin activity to the south, but the players never even looked.

    So that leaves me with what is the way to go? Have a plan or do improv? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gnoman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Here's how I do it:


    First, come up with a start point.

    Second, create a number of endpoints - this is where any "campaign after the campaign" would start. You should have more than just "good end" or "bad end", but there shouldn't be too many of these - I currently have about a dozen, most of which feed into various settings I've been theorycrafting.

    Third, make several goalpoints for each endpoint - this is the state of the "board" at the end of the campaign. Again basing this on my current game, Endpoint 8 is "vampire apocalypse". There are about a dozen goalpoints which specify the details of the vampire apocalypse - what kind of vampires are eating everybody, how much of the world they've already converted into "farms", and what forces remain to oppose them. Meanwhile, Endpoint 23 is "immortal utopia", where the dozens or so endpoints revolve around the exact method of immortality, how it is recieved by the world's population, and how many people are refusing to become immortal.

    This same situation can be applied in miniature to resolve adventure paths. Using your specific scenario, I would have drawn up three endpoints - Goblins destroy Daydale on June 3, Goblins sack Daydale on June 3 but are driven off before they destroy it, and Goblins attack on June 3 and are kept out of Daydale completely.

    Each of those would have three goalpoints: "Destroy" would have "PCs don't fight", "PCs are defeated but survive", "TPK"; Sack would have "PCs are forced to fight in the town, and can't evacuate it", "PCs evacuate the town and make a stand in it" and "TPK, but the goblins are hurt bad enough that the villagers drive them off"; "Saved" would have "No PC losses", "Some PC losses", and "TPK, but the goblins don't attack the town"

    What I do NOT do is minutely plan the details of how we're getting from startpoint to goal point - these points exist so that I can see which way things are going and channel the player's actions in a way that fits into something that I've planned. Once the players are committed to their action, I move things along, eliminate goalpoints that are no longer possible, and we play out the results.

    In your given example, the PCs had committed to defending the town by fighting them off. I would have simply eliminated the "PCs don't fight" and "PCs evacuate the town" options and told them "the goblins attack on Day 3. You have two partial days worth of activity, as long as it could reasonably be done while waiting for the alarm - how do you use these actions."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Plan, and also improv when you need to. You're not wrong in this scenario, keeping to your timeline and locations is a valid decision. They need to know that their actions, or inactions, have consequences, and that they are meant to be proactive, not reactive. They do need ways to gather information to make good decisions, though. Why did they wait so long to scout for the goblins? You might have made suggestions or given them prompts through npcs, especially if they are new players. What you should never do is to have nothing happen during session time- if they are sitting doing nothing, ask them how long they want to wait, don't play it out in real time. So if they said "we wait for the goblins to arrive", you should have said "two days pass. On the third night you hear the howls of wargs..." or something like that.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    It's good to have a plan, but keep the details loose so you can adjust them on the fly. Or if you're determined to keep the details in place for the purposes of verisimilitude, you'll have to do a little railroading.

    In this adventure, two of the major options are "PCs fortify and defend town" or "PCs attack goblin camp". They decided to fortify, so you should have the goblins attack the town. You can still stick to your timeline if you want, but skip the time in between, don't drag it out asking them over and over what do you do, what do you do. Say "You stand guard for two uneventful days. Tensions are high among the militia as the quiet begins to unnerve them. Suddenly, you see smoke on the horizon..." or something to that effect. They made their choice, proceed to the adventure.

    If they decide instead to search for the goblins, have them find the goblins. If they didn't gather information on where exactly to look or go in the wrong direction, instead of having them miss the camp entirely, have them take a long time to find it, so the worg riders have arrived and they have an extra challenge to deal with. If they gather info, go the right way, or roll really well on survival checks, have them get there before the worg riders and have that advantage.

    The takeaway is that missing the entire adventure shouldn't be an option, certainly not one the players can stumble into by accident. Having a fun adventure is the entire point of playing!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I don't see anything wrong with anything that happened. Town burned, but maybe the goblins took captives. Maybe a survivor hiding in the ruins begs the PCs to rescue the goblin prisoners and points them the direction they headed.

    You do need to be able to improv to be a good GM, though. PCs will do things you didn't expect, and being able to cope with that instead of the session breaking down is a required skill. You also need to know how to move quickly along through unimportant things and keep the focus of the session on things that matter.
    Last edited by Koo Rehtorb; 2018-11-02 at 12:28 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    So that leaves me with what is the way to go? Have a plan or do improv? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    What's more important - the plan or the game?

    With precisely zero effort or cost of any kind, you could have moved the goblin camp, or the date of the invasion.

    Here's what you did: You left what some like to call 'agency' with the players - then punished them for it. They made a series of solid, reasonable decisions, which you at no point acknowledged. They decided to stay and defend - which is very reasonable, chosing a defensible position against a larger force. When you clearly showed them that that wasn't going to work, they decided to go out and search, and you let them go in the wrong direction.

    Then you showed them both decisions were wrong and futile by destroying the town in their absence.

    In principle there's nothing wrong with any of that. Events happen as they will, and that's fine - but only if the players have information to work with. If you just keep them in the dark, you're basically trolling them, and ... they wont like that. Also, it isn't fun. It's a game, it's meant to be fun.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I would probably have done the same.

    Improv has its place. That place is to fill out stuff you never thought relevant during preparation that somehow still comes up during the game.

    But the world should not retroactively change when PCs do stuff you didn't anticipate. If the plot always comes to the PCs whatever they do that makes the players' decisions quite meaningless.



    Sure, some people do this strange pure improv style where nothing really matters and all focus is on the events as they unfold on the table and in this very moment. But i really really would neither play nor GM that kind of game.


    That said, there are ways to put subtle hints of bad consequences that might happen when the PCs do what they are about to do. It is good to plant those hints so that the consequences don't feel unfair and unforseeable. It is also a good thing to skip uneventful time. A part of what has happened might have been a communication issue. It is easy to say "you didn't look where i prepared stuff to find", but it is mostly a sign of having too obscure a plothook/ a hint. Usually that comes up with failed crime investigation plots but the rest is not immune to it either.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2018-11-02 at 03:00 AM.

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

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Without knowing more specifics it is hard to say for sure. Like how long each day of waiting actually took at the table, what sort of hints were given, the capability of the characters, and experience of the players.

    I wouldn't just change things to fit their whims, but if they're just not thinking of basic things like scouting I would probably give them a few more strong hints. Maybe have them hit a scout from the goblins the same day to hold them back or redirect them. But at some point I agree that things just have to take their course.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I would say in principle, sticking to your timeline was fine.

    Where I have slight issues is how were the players able to go quite so wrong? Did they ignore clues and hints towards the direction the goblins were coming from, or did they never get any? If they knew goblins were coming, also knowing from which vague direction would be part of the basic information (how do you know goblins are coming at all if no one had seen them, or the destruction they have left behind them - the someone who told them of the goblins in the first place must have had that information). At the point where they seemed to be just picking a compass point and heading off, I would have injected a reminder (either from an NPC or just out of game) which way the goblins actually are (since if the party were riding off in exactly the opposite direction that the goblins were known to be, people would assume they were fleeing, not scouting!)

    That said, personally, I am fine with the principle of the quantum ogre, particularly if the players are trying to find that ogre. Sure, if they were trying to avoid the goblin horde, then its fine to miss them, but given that they wanted to find them, I would have no issues with relocating the goblins into their path. If they were experienced players, and they made no attempt to find out the direction, again it is fine to miss them (since it is their fault for just running aimlessly off into the wilderness), but given they were mostly newbies, they likely didn't know the tools they might have at hand to find their goblins, so I would have been a bit more lenient. But you weren't wrong to make the choice you made either.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I don't see anything wrong with planning things ahead of time, but there's a certain disatisfaction that comes with a time limit, especially one the players are unaware of, that you need to contextualize better.

    When I want to think of ways to do it right, I usually go back to the waterchip quest from Fallout 1, mind you, people really really hate that, but it's a generous amount of time, clearly states, with clear consequences for failure and a believable reasoning for why it is as long as it is; its their renewable water resources that is in danger and they'll run out of reserves after three months. There is another time-limit in the game that ticks down in the background that the player is unaware of and is never explicitly told about, but that isn't relevant.

    If you have a quest where the players need to defend a town from attack, but are somehow aware of it, have an NPC clearly state to the players "we expect to be attacked within the week, and frankly we're woefully unprepared. We cannot evacuate in time and frankly, most of our townsfolk refuse to leave and would rather die defending their homes, useless as it is. We need you to help secure our city as best you can and help repel the goblin threat. Sadly, we don't know where they will be striking from, so we can't recommend you go out and try to fight them, but we can't stop you. An old tribe was discovered a day or two inside the swamp ruins, not a bad place to start I think, if you plan to head out." The goblin tribe is not at the swamp ruins, and the goblins attack before the week is up.

    But now you have given them motivation to stay in the village and give them a task instead of leaving them expecting an attack that doesn't appear to arrive.

    Also it doesn't hurt if you plan more stages into your plans. Maybe the goblins attacks at the third day, but only if their hunters aren't attacked. Oh would you look at that, the goblin hunters got interrupted by the players exploring early. I guess the attack is delayed a day. Maybe the disappearance of the hunting party causes the goblins to get more cautious and circle the village, making the attack harder but delaying the attack a day further.

    As a DM, don't be afraid to have plans, but also plan for the PC's to do stupid **** and throw them a bone for not sitting still three days in a row, I know I'd suspect something odd was going on if the DM didn't throw the attack at me or provide hints that staying put is the smart play.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    I was a bit taken back by that, as it was so odd. The whole point of a timeline to me, is so the DM can resist the temptation to just do whatever they want. After all, A DM could just wait for five minutes after the PCs say they will defend the town and say here come the goblins. To me though, that is kind of shaky ground. The players seemed to think it was a great idea though. I guess the idea was that no matter what the PCs did, the action and adventure would just come right to them? So the complaint is that I let the Pcs sit around and do nothing, while I knew the goblins would not attack for days. And I guess the answer was that as soon as the players decided to make the stand, I should of just had the goblins attack.
    Well, yes. You should have just skipped to the attack. And you don't have to trash your timeline to do that.
    If on the 1st of June your players decided to make their stand in the village, and on the 2nd of June you narrate that a new day begins and ask your players what they want to do for that day, they might think that the goblins aren't going to show up until they do something outside. Especialy if they decide to stay in the village and you describe the dawn of the 3rd of June similarly.
    Skipping straight from the players decision to make a stand to the dusk of the 3rd of June when the attack happens won't cause that miscommunication. Ask them for a long term plan and not a daily one, look on your timeline at wich point it gets interrupted, and establish the vulnerabilities of their defenses based on that.
    Yes, I am slightly egomaniac. Why didn't you ask?

    Free haiku !
    Alas, poor Cookie
    The world needs more platypi
    I wish you could be

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I think both you and the players are right and wrong.

    You are right to avoid *sloppy* improv by avoiding improv as much as possible. But they are right that you are also supposed to be actively supporting them, taking time to consider threats to their success that they might deserve some hint about.

    In this case, I'd argue that you shouldn't have to alter your timeline, but you should be aware of how your PCs are reacting to your plot hooks.

    If you set them in town and they say, "we dig in and wait in ambush," that's probably when you should have said, "two days pass uneventfully, with the commoners growing more agitated with anticipation. Then on the morning of the third day, people begin to hear dogs howling. The town spends a harrowed day indoors and, as dusk approaches, the howling stops."

    If you say, "the day passes uneventfully, what do you do?" and keep saying that each day, you are hinting they should be doing something more than what they are doing. At best they could scout, but they don't know when or wherethe goblins or assault will be, so they've already decided to stay where they know the goblins will eventually be. But after wasting two days with the DM suggesting there were other things to do, they decide the DM wants them to go looking for the goblins.

    My point being that you don't need to improv the plot, but you might need to occasionally improv the plot hooks (e.g. hearing the worgs howling) and it's all about helping the players have the right expectations about what could possibly happen next.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Mostly an expectation mismatch I would say. Following a strict timeline is ok, but that needs to be clearly announced in advance so the players are aware and can act accordingly. Only then will it be acceptable that you have 'washed your hands' and can't be blamed if something bad happens. Few people are that ultra-simulationist by default, and most people expect you to adjust somewhat to their actions unless you make it clear you don't.

    The problem here seems to be confusing player actions having consequences with player agency. When players are making decisions blindly, they have no agency, even though their actions matter.

    When DMing I also used to establish timelines and the state of the world as detailed as possible. With my group however, that frequently leads to unsatisfying play, especially if it does not make sense to heavily telegraph info. So now I instead mostly prepp a lot of stuff that might happen, deliberatly waiting to finalize the state of the world, and then improvise in the session. If for a scenario I have decided in advance the layout and number of enemies, like in exploring a dungeon, I am sure to tell the players that it's up to them now.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    So, it sounds to me like you ran the game exactly the way I'd like a GM to run a game for me. Kudos!

    Well, to be fair, when I say "exactly", I mean that at a high level - you ran it in my preferred style. There are some subtle details we're missing for me to know if it's exactly my kind of game. So let's get into those - in a moment.

    First, let's discuss something else - your players. See, unfortunately, there is no one "correct" style. Your players expected one style, you delivered a second. And they need to learn the very important lesson that they are wrong - that their expectations are not the "right" way to play.

    So, back to the question of whether you made a good example of your style of game. It's largely a matter of delivery.

    Others have suggested that when the PCs indicate that they want to defend the town, the correct answer is to skip three days ahead, to them defending the town. This is... the least interesting, lowest agency, and most successful version of this style. It's not BadWrongFun, it accommodates the largest swath of player expectations reasonably well, it hardly ever has table flip meltdowns. But it's lacking in the more subtle details of agency.

    What are the PCs doing during those three days? What are they learning (aside from or even including the fact that invasion hasn't happened yet) that might have them reconsider their actions?

    So, whether I'd consider you a great GM is based on the subtle details. Some would ask if you did a good job giving sufficient hinting and foreshadowing - should it have been obvious to any player with half a brain when the attack was going to occur, or what the correct action(s) to take were? This, too, is not BadWrongFun - it's a great way to get the players to railroad themselves without realizing it, to let them make the correct informed decision.

    But, myself, I will only ask if a) you gave them realistic amounts of information to work with, and b) if you honestly believe that this scenario, with this amount of information, should have been fun. If you can honestly answer "yes" to both a and b, then I say you're my kind of GM.

    Don't retcon the world to make the PCs plans work - keep the world exactly as it has always been. But never stop thinking about how you can improve your skills.

    A great GM - one well beyond my skill - can improvise their delivery. The PCs, who initially wanted to defend the town, decide that they want to head north? This makes no sense. Clearly, I've sent the wrong signals, or they've metagamed to a wrong answer. At this point, I'd love to be able to change my gaming style to let them see their mistake. I've seen GMs who can improvise their style on the fly, when they realize that their players aren't playing the same game.

    I can't. Best I can do is break to an OOC conversation, and try to do damage control, and see what we can salvage.

    This is part of why I prefer things like session 0, and a series of one-shots to establish such style questions, before moving on to anything bigger.

    -----

    So, how could the PCs have known when the date of the attack would be? How could the PCs have known where the goblins were gathering? How could the players have made use of the agency you have them by not just skipping straight to the attack?

    Answer these questions, more for yourself than for us or your players, to see what level of agency and what level of difficulty that scenario entailed.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-11-02 at 05:52 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    So that leaves me with what is the way to go? Have a plan or do improv? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I think the ideal is to do both, have a plan but use improvisation to fill in details. Or flat out scrap the plan and improvise a new one if it doesn't work.

    Having a plan is good, it provides structure, lets you stretch out the work and sanity check things before you bring them to the game. However any time that following the plan would lead to less fun than not following the plan: throw the plan out.

    I don't think you did anything wrong (in the sense of a particular mistake you should feel bad about) but I do think the game would have been more fun if the PCs had actually gotten a chance to fight the goblin raiders. So an adjustment to "the plan" (even the out of game information you provide the players) probably would have been better.

    Those are my thoughts.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I think the ideal is to do both, have a plan but use improvisation to fill in details. Or flat out scrap the plan and improvise a new one if it doesn't work.

    Having a plan is good, it provides structure, lets you stretch out the work and sanity check things before you bring them to the game. However any time that following the plan would lead to less fun than not following the plan: throw the plan out.

    I don't think you did anything wrong (in the sense of a particular mistake you should feel bad about) but I do think the game would have been more fun if the PCs had actually gotten a chance to fight the goblin raiders. So an adjustment to "the plan" (even the out of game information you provide the players) probably would have been better.

    Those are my thoughts.
    Because you're usually fun / sane / whatever to discuss with, and you seem to enjoy these metagame concerns, I'll throw these half-thoughts at you, and see if you can take them somewhere meaningful. Hmmm... apparently, I'm writing at least half of this as though I'm talking to the OP, so my style is random and confusing. So, um, since it's hard to pretend that I'm doing less telling and more asking, maybe pretend that I'm asking you to edit this for sanity before I post it? (I think you get the idea)

    -----

    So, there's several different layers here. And, thus, several different ways that one can plan, improvise, or throw away plans. I'll doubtless fail to address all of these, or all the layers at which they can occur.

    So, one layer of "planning" is commonly known as Railroading - the plot is going to go exactly this way, dagnabbit, no matter what the players try to do. Most people on these boards are rather against Railroading, but consider: how is throwing away planned facts when they are inconvenient different from Railroading?

    Another layer involves planned facts - the goblins are to the South. How is throwing away such facts different from a Quantum Ogre? However, it is very common to need to improvise unplanned facts - one of the PCs lost his luggage to your airport Table of Doom. Fine, but this PC took a flaw, and needs his insulin injection - do any of the other passengers have insulin? There's always going to be details that you didn't plan out, and need to improvise. This is, IMO, where improv skill really shines / where games can most easily stall if the GM completely lacks improv skill.

    Another layer is planned plans. The goblins planned to attack in 3 days, when their reinforcements (worg riders) arrived. OK, what if the PCs delay those reinforcements? Will the goblins stick to their timetable, or reevaluate the scenario? What if the PCs eliminate the worg riders? Flood the battlefield? Summon visible reinforcements? Will the attack go off in the days, as planned, no matter what? Why / why not?

    Another two that I'll mention together are planned information, and planned PC responses. When creating the scenario, you planned to tell the players X, and expected that it would be a fun game with them responding with Y or Z. But what if they don't? This is where things get really tricky.

    IMO, the first layer here is, "did they respond with something fun?". If the players respond to the goblin invasion with Scorched Earth tactics, burning down the town before the goblins can claim* it, and they're having fun with the idea, great. If their plan is to kill some goblin scouts, use Speak with Dead to gather Intel, then, once they know what's going on, harass the Worg Riders**, and they look like they're having fun? Great.

    But what if they're not having fun? What if there's some way of approaching this that they'd enjoy pursuing, but they're not taking that path? Most likely, the reason is information - they don't know that the path exists, they don't know that the path is viable, they don't know that you'd be open to them taking that path.

    IMO, the safest thing to change - without risking Railroading, or Quantum Ogres, or inconsistencies - is the information you give. Now, whether that's the information you give the PCs, or the information you give the players depends a bit on your style, and why you believe that they aren't taking what you believe would be a more fun path for them.

    How open you are to metagame communication will influence the odds that your beliefs about their fun and their reasoning are correct.

    * Admittedly, these goblins apparently aren't trying to seize civilization, and burnt the town down themselves, so apparently this wouldn't help in this particular scenario.
    ** Oh, and why is it that the Worg Riders, presumably the fastest troops, are the last to the party? Was this a Gamist, "goblins are easiest to fight, and I want the PCs to fight the goblins, so the Worg Riders aren't here yet", a Simulationist "the Worg Riders were busy with task X (bringing food? Hunting survivors from the last village?), whereas the goblins marched straight here" or "Goblins can hold positions / move unseen better than Worgs"? A Narrative concern like "the players get to choose to tell the story of fighting goblins, or of fighting Worg Riders"?

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Strapped to the DM chair.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    You did absolutely nothing wrong.

    -You planned out an adventure with a clearly defined goal: Defend the city because an attack is expected in the next few days.
    -The players were given full agency over their characters to do whatever they desired, in this case going out to find the goblins rather than staying put.
    -You resolved their decision, as the DM is supposed to do, by having the natural course of action occur.
    -The players were able to see that their actions had consequences.
    -You allowed for a failure condition that was not bound by the fight alone.

    You handled that scenario exactly as a DM should, you were a neutral party that resolved the decisions that the players made. Instead of trying to railroad the players into doing what you had planned you gave them the freedom to fail or succeed. Rather than have them magically show up to save the town, you showed them that they made a mistake and it caused them to have a very real and visceral response. That should bring you joy, to have the players buy in to the game that deeply is a win even if it's hard.

    As to the players being upset and telling you that you should have improvised a solution to allow them to win, simply explain action and consequence to them. They're upset, it's natural, they lost. They expected to win because they came up with a solution that was pro-active rather than reactive. Not all solutions will guarantee a success. If I want to score a point in a game and I head the opposite direction of the goal...I'm not going to score.

    The only thing that may have helped, and this is assuming you didn't, is to be a bit heavy handed on the hints that there are no goblins. Players are dumb, granted it's usually because the DM doesn't tell them anything, but players are dumb. What we feel are obvious clues are easily missed by the players. What we feel should be a blinking neon sign that says "Don't do that thing", they're going to see as an invitation to touch it. The more you do this type of thing, the more you'll be able to relax the reigns as they start to recognize it.

    ---

    The modules you buy from WotC have clearly defined goals and timelines, some even tell you how to resolve improvised actions in places. You are just fine playing the way you did.
    ~I have never met a man so ignorant I could learn nothing from him~ Galileo

    My Homebrew Class: Bard College of Etymology

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by DMThac0 View Post
    You did absolutely nothing wrong.
    I disagree. The OP should have told the players about the style of game in advance, and that they would be responsible for what happened. If that had been done, everything would be fine as you say. If the players aren't expecting that style however, it can be very frustrating when it turns out to be the case.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Strapped to the DM chair.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I disagree. The OP should have told the players about the style of game in advance, and that they would be responsible for what happened. If that had been done, everything would be fine as you say. If the players aren't expecting that style however, it can be very frustrating when it turns out to be the case.
    You are to defend this town. Players are informed of their responsibility.
    Your actions have consequences. The players are informed of their responsibility.
    You are playing D&D where you can act/do whatever you want. They have been informed of the style of game they're playing.
    You are adventurers sent to defend a city during a wartime era. They have been informed of the style of game they're playing.

    You rolled up characters in D&D, a game where the players are in charge of the story, how the heck can they not be expecting their actions to have consequences?
    ~I have never met a man so ignorant I could learn nothing from him~ Galileo

    My Homebrew Class: Bard College of Etymology

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    As others have said, you haven't given us nearly enough information to judge how "fair" or not your actions were. We don't know what the players' expectations were, we don't know how experienced the players were, we don't know what their characters' capabilities were, and so forth.

    But the biggest thing we don't know is what information the players had. In a situation like the one you've described, which doesn't seem to be dependent on a published setting, the players know nothing. All they can learn is what you, the DM, tell them. This may be where you've taken a misstep--and here I really strongly agree with Glorthindel. If goblin raiders have been spotted, somebody had to have spotted them somewhere. And the person who did the spotting knows what direction that somewhere is from the town. This is particularly the case if this band of raiders have already sacked a couple of villages--the people who live in DayDale will definitely know which direction the neighboring villages are in. And, since you say that DayDale is the PCs' hometown, it follows that the PCs would definitely know where those villages are.

    Therefore, I think you owed it to the players to tell them the information that their characters would certainly have known. Either you didn't, in which case some blame attaches to you, or you did, in which case your players are monumentally stupid. But from the broad-strokes painting of the setting you gave us in your OP, the former seems more likely. If that's the case, then what we have here isn't so much a question of planning vs. improvisation, but a matter of enabling the player to know what the PC knows.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by DMThac0 View Post
    You rolled up characters in D&D, a game where the players are in charge of the story, how the heck can they not be expecting their actions to have consequences?
    They obviously didn't. The game would have been much smoother if they did.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sharangar's Revenge
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    My main question is what clues you gave the players about the impending attack. Several other villages/towns had been sacked. Did the players have a map showing where these villages were in relation to Dayville? Did the players know about the ruins a short distance to the south? Did they know which lands were more civilized and which lands were wilder and more likely to be inhabited by goblins?

    Essentially, what clues did you offer that heading north was the wrong way to go to intercept the goblin raiders? Remember the Three Clue Rule. You need a minimum of three clues to tell the players where to go, and preferably each of those should be available from more than one source.

    So your planning was great. But if your players are missing your clues, you may need to "improv" ways for the party to find them. I assume they were leading the defense of the village? If so, someone should have noticed them heading north and asked why they were going that way. Even out of character, you could ask them if there's a particular reason they're heading north.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2018-11-02 at 12:43 PM.
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    So I’ve DMed three campaigns recently, and both my 5th edition games were entirely improv. I’d set up a premise, get the characters together, give them a direction, and then just...things would happen. Right now, my party’s fighting a half-elf necromantic empire because a) there’s a half-elf samurai in the group who hates other half-elves and necromancers, b) my players wanted something they could kill remorselessly, and c) the Tiefling vault beneath the bone-sand needed a reason to exist. The party’s living aboard an artifact-level pirate ship crewed by freely-transforming wood golems, which they usually take a couple of with them on shore trips; they have a shardmind who acts as a collection of all of their knowledge (as he’s a conglomeration of all of their memories...sort of); the Sorcerer has an angel of a death god as a mentor/romantic interest; and all of this is before they’ve gotten their first ASI. Admittedly, I hand out gifts to my players’ characters like candy, and they openly know and joke about the fact that I walk into a session really only knowing what will happen for the first fifteen minutes or so, if that, but we’ve had a blast so far and will until we have to stop meeting due to our current lifestyle.

    All that to say I can’t plan to save my life as a DM, but if I don’t have anything, everything works; other DMs can work with plans really easily. Your new players sound like they read too many threads or listened to too many podcasts with DMs of one type and assumed that was the OTP of role playing. Hopefully, they’ll be mature and let you have another shot now that you know they don’t like the idea of a time table and you know you need to be sneakier about using one, since let’s be honest, it was a great plan, just maybe not perfectly executed ;).
    Cookie Count: One

    Quote Originally Posted by digiman619 View Post
    Spoiler: True Facts
    Show

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I think that your plan went well. The players should've gone scouting (or employed NPC scouts) on day one and two, seized the initiative whilst they had it, get an advantage before the attack. I personally consider it bad role-playing to "defend the town" without considering things like intel, supplies, morale, etcetera (unless you're role-playing peasant levies, but that's another matter). I mean, if you give real-life me a town to defend (I cannot stress enough how bad of an idea that would be, but say), the first thing I'd ask is "who's attacking what, how, and from where?". Get a picture of the situation, and all that.


    As for the reaction of your players: I think this is a fairly typical "but it wasn't a happy ending!"-reaction. You learn to appreciate bitter endings over time, but if you're expecting things to turn out all Hollywood Happy in the end, they can be a bit of a shock, and then you go looking for a justification, one of which is that the ending was just "bad".
    Spoiler: Collectible nice things
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

    WHY IS THERE NO LIKE BUTTON?!
    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mordar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    What's more important - the plan or the game?

    With precisely zero effort or cost of any kind, you could have moved the goblin camp, or the date of the invasion.

    Here's what you did: You left what some like to call 'agency' with the players - then punished them for it. They made a series of solid, reasonable decisions, which you at no point acknowledged. They decided to stay and defend - which is very reasonable, chosing a defensible position against a larger force. When you clearly showed them that that wasn't going to work, they decided to go out and search, and you let them go in the wrong direction.

    Then you showed them both decisions were wrong and futile by destroying the town in their absence.

    In principle there's nothing wrong with any of that. Events happen as they will, and that's fine - but only if the players have information to work with. If you just keep them in the dark, you're basically trolling them, and ... they wont like that. Also, it isn't fun. It's a game, it's meant to be fun.
    While I agree with the heart of what you're saying - a change could easily have been made and the game would have proceeded without a hitch. Barring missing information (scouts, direction of the other sacked villages, was there intentional misdirection) your change is probably what I would have preferred. Of course, the people I played with were generally experienced enough to have gotten reasonable intel on the goblins prior to abandoning the town, so it isn't likely (barring the misdirection I mentioned) that we would have gone the wrong direction.

    That being said, the OP didn't punish players for using agency. That is the very nature of "player agency" in the discussions here I have seen - the players decided what to do, there were no quantum ogres/goblin war parties, players chose the wrong direction. They didn't get the adventure they wanted, but they got the one their choices determined. Now, it could have been handled better (see below for what I think was the best response, and one I had to learn the hard way) but the agency wasn't punished...it was "rewarded", and that's the primary reason I am much more in favor of quantum encounters.

    Quick aside: I want quantum encounters to be used as seldom as possible and to (as a GM) to provide enough proper evidence/clues/incentive to the characters so quantum ogres are exceedingly rare and (as a player) to pick up on the proper evidence/incentives and make good decisions so that quantum encounters are exceedingly rare...but in both cases fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStarNorth View Post
    It's good to have a plan, but keep the details loose so you can adjust them on the fly. Or if you're determined to keep the details in place for the purposes of verisimilitude, you'll have to do a little railroading.

    In this adventure, two of the major options are "PCs fortify and defend town" or "PCs attack goblin camp". They decided to fortify, so you should have the goblins attack the town. You can still stick to your timeline if you want, but skip the time in between, don't drag it out asking them over and over what do you do, what do you do. Say "You stand guard for two uneventful days. Tensions are high among the militia as the quiet begins to unnerve them. Suddenly, you see smoke on the horizon..." or something to that effect. They made their choice, proceed to the adventure.

    If they decide instead to search for the goblins, have them find the goblins. If they didn't gather information on where exactly to look or go in the wrong direction, instead of having them miss the camp entirely, have them take a long time to find it, so the worg riders have arrived and they have an extra challenge to deal with. If they gather info, go the right way, or roll really well on survival checks, have them get there before the worg riders and have that advantage.

    The takeaway is that missing the entire adventure shouldn't be an option, certainly not one the players can stumble into by accident. Having a fun adventure is the entire point of playing!
    This really is, in my experience, the best solution. The players seemed to have been on a good track (again, missing information for us about scouting, direction of previous attacks, etc) and I think it should have been rewarded by a nice "building trenches" montage followed by the narrative you outline and the attack. Fun had by all.

    I learned a similar lesson the hard way...there was a fixed timeline (because of a special dark magic ritual/event) and the players had time to kill. There was a small chance they could find the special clue ahead of time, and I overplayed it...so they spent a couple table-hours searching and failing (looking in the wrong place), and that sucked all of the momentum out of the story and the game. It could have been handled much better - given the low-probability of success, they make the attempt and I narrate the hours they spend looking...then back to the building tension. They got the shot at short-circuiting the bad guy plan, failed, but didn't lose the momentum and fun of the game.

    Anyway, in my opinion, excellent advice LoneStarNorth.

    - M
    No matter where you go...there you are!

    Togashi Ishi - Betrayal at the White Temple
    Da Monsters of Da Midden - GitP Blood Bowl Manager Cup Season VI

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    My general style of DMing is to mix planning and improv: there are things I plan carefully, and then there are things I leave vague in my notes; there are times when I only plan the premise of the session, and then just wing it, and there are times when I write everything down, with timetables and heaps of notes. I don't think either style is better or superior, I simply mix and match them depending on many factors (sometimes I just wing it because I've had classes and didn't get time to write down stuff, for example).

    But one thing I think must always be kept in mind is that when we play a game, we play to have fun. If what I've planned doesn't seem fun (or the players are stuck, or are going completely off-road), then it's time to improvise, even if it means I have to scrap fives pages of planned events*. And I think that's why your players were upset - not necessarily because they failed to defend the town, but because they didn't have fun. Maybe if they fought the goblins and lost they would have been a bit disheartened, but at least they would have go to try. What happened, however, was that in their eyes they wandered off and then found out they missed on the climax of the adventure.

    So, I'll join the chorus of people asking why did the players go north, when the goblins were camping south? Did they just pick a random direction? If yes, why? Why didn't they have any idea about where the goblins had set camp? Was it a failure on their part, or did you not communicate information clearly**?

    You could have moved the goblin camp, but that might reek too much of Quantum Ogres. So, perhaps instead you could have the players run into a group of goblin scouts, which could have clued them in, or even have them meet the worg riders, weakening the goblin tribe and wrecking their plans! Yes, it would have meant not following your plans, but it might have been more entertaining than just random encounters, no?

    *And, hey, maybe I'll get to use them in another occasion!
    **And if you did communicate clearly that the goblins were south, yet they went north... Well, then there was some miscommunication.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    So it was me as DM, with only one other player I knew, and three new to me players. So I put together a simple adventure: Save Daydale. The basic plot is a war in the background, and a band of goblin raiders has been spotted moving towards the town. The goblins sack a couple of villages, and with everyone focused on the war...there is no one to stop them except the PCs. As DayDale is their hometown.
    So far so good - but it sounds like communication doesn't hold up well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    The players don't know the above, of course, and they choose to dig in and be ready to defend the town. So June 1st and 2nd roll by as the PCs just wait...and noting happens. Then on the morning of June 3rd, the PCs all agree to stop waiting and go find the goblins. They pick north as the direction to go and head off. So they have a couple random encounters for a couple days, then on June 5th they get worried that they have left the town unguarded and head back. Of course when they get back to Daydale, they find it destroyed. As per my plan, at dusk on June 3...the same day the PCs left town and headed north....the goblins attacked from the south.
    There's a few things that went wrong here. To start with part of what the GM should be doing is managing the pacing in game - the scenes you handle slowly versus gloss over and the ones that merit inclusion and don't merit inclusion say a lot about the game, and this sounds poorly handled. The PCs made an initial decision (wait for the goblins) at the expense of other possible decisions (search for the goblins, evacuate the village, go seek help), and speeding up the pace until that decision is resolved is entirely reasonable. Going slowly instead is effectively a way of asking "are you sure?". Then we get to the PCs leaving to the north - and it sounds like this got no response from the villagers. Nobody asked the PCs to stay and defend their homes, nobody questioned why they were going north when it's pretty clear that the goblins are coming from the south, I suspect nobody even asked the PCs where they were going in case they needed to send someone after them if the goblins came. Which then didn't happen - the PCs were slowly searching northward, the villagers presumably have some self preservation instincts and could set up a tall guard tower to watch for a goblin army and send someone after them on a horse. Not to mention smoke signals, or just the smoke signal of the village currently being on fire.

    Then there's the waiting. At the very least the villagers know there's a war on, know that they're undefended, and know goblins are coming. Why aren't they building fortifications? Why aren't they improvising weapons out of farm implements (or at least sharpening some stakes for simple spears)? Why isn't there concrete defensive activity going on independent of the PCs that suggests ways they could be involved in the defenses beyond just waiting. If "nothing happens" gets replaced with a tense scene of the PCs standing guard while the villagers cut down trees for a palisade as a wall begins to form the players are much less likely to just go off in a random direction in search of adventure, because there's no glaringly obvious "adventure not here, go elsewhere" signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    I was a bit taken back by that, as it was so odd. The whole point of a timeline to me, is so the DM can resist the temptation to just do whatever they want. After all, A DM could just wait for five minutes after the PCs say they will defend the town and say here come the goblins. To me though, that is kind of shaky ground. The players seemed to think it was a great idea though. I guess the idea was that no matter what the PCs did, the action and adventure would just come right to them? So the complaint is that I let the Pcs sit around and do nothing, while I knew the goblins would not attack for days. And I guess the answer was that as soon as the players decided to make the stand, I should of just had the goblins attack.
    The DM could just have whatever they want happen whenever they want, but in practice that's not what improvisation usually looks like. Instead it looks like understanding your setting and having it respond. You've got a village of scared noncombatants trying to deal with impending goblins, what do they do? How do they interact with the PCs? You've got a goblin raiding force hiding amidst the wreckage of war, what do they do? How do they react to what happens?

    Importantly there are usually several good answers to many of these questions. That leaves the GM leeway to pick an answer not only good, but fun for the players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa the Pixie View Post
    So, I wonder why even make a plan, if the idea is just toss it out the window if the players want? And that leads to the shaky ground. So if I have no plan, just know there are goblins, then I can have anything happen at any time. This seems great to have a plot, as I can just make things happen around the PCs. No matter what the players do, the adventure will be right in front of them. Take the goblins location for example, in my plan they were in some ruins south of town. The Ccs headed north, and so did not encounter the goblin forces. It sounds right to me, but they complained that the goblins should have just been in the north when they went north. My counter was that the PCs did not gather any information in game, and just headed north. I had prepared plenty of signs of more goblin activity to the south, but the players never even looked.
    Sure, the players never looked - but why did none of this information come to them. You've got a village full of scared peasants and a small group of highly effective professional warriors who can handle the goblins capable of wiping out the village by their lonesome. Why aren't these villagers more forthcoming with information? Why aren't they more insistent that the warriors at least stay nearby?

    As for moving the camp north, that communicates two things to me. One is player side - they're definitely not the most proactive players, and I sympathise with you as a GM there. There's ways of encouraging more proactivity, which I'll get back to, but it's annoying not to at least have a couple of proactive players in there. The other is GM side though - wandering off in a random direction expecting to find something makes sense if the GM seems like they're just waiting for you to find the adventure and is having nothing happen until then.

    As for encouraging proactivity, this is one of the places where a metagame level of table talk can be really helpful, especially with new players (or those adapted to different GMing styles). Some of this is just repeating players plans back to them in ways that suggest their stupidity, which here would be "You're planning on wandering off in a random direction hoping to find the goblins before a suspected imminent attack?". Some of this is providing encouragement to act, by providing example options when they're freezing up, preferably making sure you get a lot of them and make a point of it being an incomplete list. Both of these should generally be toned down once players start getting the hang of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    But the world should not retroactively change when PCs do stuff you didn't anticipate. If the plot always comes to the PCs whatever they do that makes the players' decisions quite meaningless.

    Sure, some people do this strange pure improv style where nothing really matters and all focus is on the events as they unfold on the table and in this very moment. But i really really would neither play nor GM that kind of game.
    A pure improv style doesn't necessitate retroactive changes, or nothing really mattering. On top of that plot of some sort coming to the PCs doesn't mean the players' decisions are meaningless, particularly as an improv style by definition doesn't have a planned out plot that can come to them and thus the action shape of that plot essentially has to be based on player decisions.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    I think in the end I'd say, don't bring the PCs to the adventure, bring an adventure to the PCs. If they leave town at the wrong moment then suddenly the adventure isn't about protecting the town any more, they're failed at that. Now maybe the adventure is about tracking down the goblin raiding party and rescuing the goblin captives once they realize they've made a terrible mistake. Don't bend reality to match what the PCs do, just get good at making whatever the PCs decide to do interesting.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Your players plan was garbage, and they deserved to be punished for it. That being said, you should have improvised an NPC or called for some kind of check to help them not have such a garbage plan.

    "Everyone roll INT" Anyone higher than 8 realizes "Oh, sh**, we should have scouting parties because that's like the basics of warfare!"

    You were right to let them face the consequences of their choices, but you neither planned nor improvised properly to give them the tools to succeed.

    Planning properly would have included some way to keep them from sitting around uselessly for two days- someone who could provide them with an action plan if they didn't come up with one. Or perhaps would have included some method to keep them in touch with the town when they left.

    Improvising properly could have included any number of things others have mentioned.

    If I had to assign blame, I'd say everyone involved screwed the pooch.
    Back in my day we used all of our spells before the fight, and it was just a matter of time before the DM realized his encounter was over.
    And we walked to our dungeons uphill through the snow, both ways.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Plan vs Improv

    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone
    Give hints. If it was an obvious mistake, it was their fault. If it wasn't obvious, it was yours.
    You can improv all you want, but you're still going to make mistakes. The main issue here is that DnD is more of a game of choice vs. chance. More Chess than Battleships.

    The game is fun when you can blame a problem on your own faults. You decided not to take Feather Fall, you blew too many spells early on, you jumped ahead into a crowd of badguys; these can end a character, but you know what you could have done to prevented it.

    In this case, if there weren't apt enough clues available to the players as to the correct choice of action that scaled with the risk of failure, then that was your bad. Otherwise, if those clues were available (like with possible scouting, messengers, a pattern of the direction the goblins were seen, etc) and they ignored those clues, then they made a fatal error.

    But from the sound of it, 2 days went by with no clues, so they took the "hint" and started playing the game. You can be as accurate as you want for determining how the world works, but DnD is still a multiplayer game, one that people prefer be dictated by skill over random chance.
    Balance in all things:
    • Something is underpowered if, when given a choice, the option is almost never chosen. (Poison Spray)
    • Something is overpowered if, when given a choice, the option is almost always chosen. (Eldritch Blast)
    • Something is balanced if, when given a choice, is chosen because of circumstantial reasons. (Frostbite)

    High quality homebrews:
    Oath of the Heiromancer, Paladin subclass, by Vogie


    Make it easy, call me MOG.

Posting Permissions

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