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  1. - Top - End - #421
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @Quertus:

    Your position is a fundamentally flawed one. It would only make sense in the context of ye goode olde tournament style gaming of yesteryear, which amongst other things would mean that there will only ever be officially approved modules and no creativity involved on both sides of the table, as being creative is not RAW compatible - reducing a functional RPG down to a near-RPG like Descent.

    @Talakeal:

    What you're writing reads eerily similar to what Jon_Dahl writes as after-gaming reports of his group. Eerily similar.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm getting the feeling that your players have a fundamentally different understanding about how your game system works that your intention of that. It reads like they understand investing in something means more or less buying an "auto success" or "get out of jail free" card, ex. high diplomacy/fast talk skill means skipping any kind of social encounter.

    Other thing I noticed is that your still writing about your intentions behind certain encounters and how those don't come across as such with your players.

    Let me suggest something: Next session, leave your ego at home and try to cater 100% to how your players act, not what they say, most people don't have an effing clue what they really want, have the whole world act in such a way that it matches to how your players act and look if the gameplay changes in any meaningful way.

  2. - Top - End - #422
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Other thing I noticed is that your still writing about your intentions behind certain encounters and how those don't come across as such with your players.

    Let me suggest something: Next session, leave your ego at home and try to cater 100% to how your players act, not what they say, most people don't have an effing clue what they really want, have the whole world act in such a way that it matches to how your players act and look if the gameplay changes in any meaningful way.
    This.

    It's something I pointed out to him earlier; he expects his players to be mind readers a lot of the time. They're expected to correctly guess what the purpose of the encounter is (social or combat) and to alos correctly deduce when an encounter is too hard for them.

    For the Ogre encampment, I'd simply stat up a handful (4-5) of Ogre themed encounters (with an Ogre boss in heavy armor, triple the HP and HD and multiattack (3 attacks), and an extra +2 to hit, saves and skills, and the Leadership trait of Hobgoblin bosses, elite Ogres with multi-attack and double the HP, and +1 to attack in medium armor, normal Ogres, and some kind of monstrous and hillarious pet etc). Each encounter balanced around the[medium-hard] range (this presumes 5E DnD).

    From there, I sit back and let the PCs tackle it how they want.

    DM: The Ogre guard looks you up and down and bellows out 'What doez youze puny 'umans wont? Der Bozz man iz buzy.'
    PCs: 'Surrender / Join us or Die!
    DM: 'The Ogre laughs at you, bellows a roar, and reaches for his greatclub... and also for a large horn nearby! Roll initiative.

    Note, Im not even calling for an Intimidate check, because Im ruling that the Ogre isnt going to be intimidated by a bunch of 'weak 'umans' no matter what the result. Im also not mucking about; the players insult the Ogre, the Ogre attacks. If the players intead flatter the Ogre, or bribe it, it may take them directly to 'the Bozz'. Large enough bribes grant advantage on the Persuasion check to convine it to leave its post, let them pass, and bring the PCs to the Boss Ogre.

    The PCs could have overcome the encounter with social skills/ RP, or they could have attacked the Ogre (or even scouted around the Ogre, or avoided the encounter entirely). They could have used magic or other means to sneak past or whatever. Im not pre-empting their actions other than to ensure that no matter what they choose, there is a reasonably balanced encounter coming their way (or is circumvented).

    No matter what happens, the encounter is still something they need to deal with. They've chosen 'violence' and so be it (combat is a bigger drain on resources than RP or stealth, so that's on them). After dealing with multiple waves of Ogre encoutners from a now hostile Ogre camp, maybe they'll try something different next time.

    After this encounter it's likely the Ogre camp is alerted, so they're getting several more encounters before getting a chance to long rest. The Ogres are now mad that Grogbog (the Guard) was killed by these pesky 'umans, however they respect strength, so social skill use is still an option.
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-01-14 at 12:50 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #423
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    @Quertus:

    Your position is a fundamentally flawed one.
    Not unlikely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    It would only make sense in the context of ye goode olde tournament style gaming of yesteryear,
    Good to hear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    which amongst other things would mean that there will only ever be officially approved modules and no creativity involved on both sides of the table, as being creative is not RAW compatible - reducing a functional RPG down to a near-RPG like Descent.
    Um...

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    The advantage of an RPG over a board game is the ability of the GM to add rules not covered by RAW, the existence of an "outside the box".

    I think I'm a bit concerned that your takeaway, your analysis of my position, is antithetical to an explicitly stated portion of position.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @ Malifice:

    I literally don't see the difference between your suggestion and what I did. Aside from a few very specific details that is almost exactly the adventure I ran.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    @ Malifice:

    I literally don't see the difference between your suggestion and what I did. Aside from a few very specific details that is almost exactly the adventure I ran.
    Would you have awarded XP if they had have gotten through the encounter with RP?

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    @ Malifice:

    I literally don't see the difference between your suggestion and what I did. Aside from a few very specific details that is almost exactly the adventure I ran.
    I honestly don't see the difference either, both your accounts sound fairly similar.

    If I remember correctly, the whole scenario is supposed to be the players trying to find allies against a threat that is about to come in a few months, right? From the outset, that sounds like a scenario geared heavily towards diplomacy. However, your players give the impression that they either don't know how to do the whole diplomacy thing or they don't care about that part of the scenario (possibly both). In the first case, they might need some guidance. Is there some NPC that could help them? Someone who can aid them either by suggesting a few things the kingdom (or whatever it is where they are) could offer monsters for their help beside their lives, or possibly even accompany them for one negotiation so you can give a few useful hints to guide them through one negotiation and help them find their feet.
    In the second case, there's not much you can do except change the focus of the campaign, I'm afraid. Maybe have a talk with the players asking them if they actually want to do a diplomacy-heavy story at all?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    @ Malifice:

    I literally don't see the difference between your suggestion and what I did. Aside from a few very specific details that is almost exactly the adventure I ran.
    Your whole reward structure is still based on the initial setup, IIRC the thingie with plot point leveling up for killing your legendary creatures. Which is a lot of things, but not the goal your players have set for their characters, which is important in a sandbox. That leads to the other thing, your players are more or less just exploring around, with no clear goals (of their own), so it seems that the encounter look more or less pointless to them, they apparently don't know what to do with them, when they come up.

    This is how you can come to the point that they always try the "save" option first. If this doesn't work, or work out as expected, they use the other option. Hence your weird situation with diplomacy first, slaughter second.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Would you have awarded XP if they had have gotten through the encounter with RP?
    I use milestone XP, so technically no, I wouldn't give XP for the encounter either eay, but I would give the same amount of XP at the end of the adventure regardless of how they got there.

    I think maybe that I am giving too strong an impression when I say how I expect an encounter to go. I am merely stating what I believe is the easiest / most direct method; I am under no illusion that the players will actually take use this approach even half the time and I always plan for atleast a few ways the encounter could go down. For example, even thiugh I expected the ogre guard to be based around bluffing, I still statted him out and made sure that he would be an interesting combat encounter.
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  9. - Top - End - #429
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    I honestly don't see the difference either, both your accounts sound fairly similar.

    If I remember correctly, the whole scenario is supposed to be the players trying to find allies against a threat that is about to come in a few months, right? From the outset, that sounds like a scenario geared heavily towards diplomacy. However, your players give the impression that they either don't know how to do the whole diplomacy thing or they don't care about that part of the scenario (possibly both). In the first case, they might need some guidance. Is there some NPC that could help them? Someone who can aid them either by suggesting a few things the kingdom (or whatever it is where they are) could offer monsters for their help beside their lives, or possibly even accompany them for one negotiation so you can give a few useful hints to guide them through one negotiation and help them find their feet.
    In the second case, there's not much you can do except change the focus of the campaign, I'm afraid. Maybe have a talk with the players asking them if they actually want to do a diplomacy-heavy story at all?
    Honestly the players are more into diplomacy than I am, they are just really bad at it. They want to talk to almost every monster, but their sole bargaining strategy is threats and intimidation.

    We had a conversation out of game two weeks ago about character goals and motivation, and I think everyone is on the same page now.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Honestly the players are more into diplomacy than I am, they are just really bad at it. They want to talk to almost every monster, but their sole bargaining strategy is threats and intimidation.

    We had a conversation out of game two weeks ago about character goals and motivation, and I think everyone is on the same page now.
    So you need to teach your players the very basics of diplomacy; fun...

    I see two ways how to go about this. One is what I mentioned in my previous post. If the players are in some way answering to a ruler, said ruler might have heard about their misadventures and decides to put an NPC at their side to watch what they are doing. Said NPC could be your way to give them some guidance in proper diplomacy.
    The other idea I'd have is to have the players deal with the ramifications of their threats. In the case of the ogres, have them battle the ogres and lose. Then the ogres take the players captive and they get their audience with the ogre chief, just as prisoners instead of a delegation. The chieftain could then act something like this:
    "I would be well justified in just killing you for what you did. But I'm not interested in further bloodshed. Since we've now established that your threats against my tribe don't hold any water, maybe you're willing to listen to my offer instead."
    Then outline a diplomatic deal along the lines they should have offered in the first place. With some luck, they'll learn something for their next negotiation from that.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    @ Malifice:

    I literally don't see the difference between your suggestion and what I did. Aside from a few very specific details that is almost exactly the adventure I ran.
    If you're planning on the players approaching a particular way, and that is the way to solve the issue that will not result in horrible explosion, then when the players look like they're going to go down a different path, you need to hint at them what the expected approach is.

    Metagaming? Maybe, but so is having an ideal solution in mind.

    "Well, before you attack the Ogre, you did notice that as he talked about the most precious thing, his eyes flicked amongst your possessions. And not just the obvious shinies either. Even your super mundane, but fairly newish things seemed to catch his eye. It might be possible to convince him that something that's not actually super valuable is the most precious".

    Keep in mind that in that scenario, the actual PCs would have a TON of information that is not conveyed by a fairly short description of the situation. Shoring that up with some additional info is not a bad thing.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    If you're planning on the players approaching a particular way, and that is the way to solve the issue that will not result in horrible explosion, then when the players look like they're going to go down a different path, you need to hint at them what the expected approach is.

    Metagaming? Maybe, but so is having an ideal solution in mind.

    "Well, before you attack the Ogre, you did notice that as he talked about the most precious thing, his eyes flicked amongst your possessions. And not just the obvious shinies either. Even your super mundane, but fairly newish things seemed to catch his eye. It might be possible to convince him that something that's not actually super valuable is the most precious".

    Keep in mind that in that scenario, the actual PCs would have a TON of information that is not conveyed by a fairly short description of the situation. Shoring that up with some additional info is not a bad thing.
    Thank you. Very good advice. I will do my best to remember it in future game sessions.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I use milestone XP, so technically no, I wouldn't give XP for the encounter either eay, but I would give the same amount of XP at the end of the adventure regardless of how they got there.
    I was only asking as 'Kill XP' can often lead to murderhobist behaviour like what you describe.

    I think maybe that I am giving too strong an impression when I say how I expect an encounter to go. I am merely stating what I believe is the easiest / most direct method; I am under no illusion that the players will actually take use this approach even half the time and I always plan for atleast a few ways the encounter could go down. For example, even thiugh I expected the ogre guard to be based around bluffing, I still statted him out and made sure that he would be an interesting combat encounter.
    Fair enough. Players can and do surprise you.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    So apparently there was one other issue that occured during the last session that I didnt notice at the time:


    I have a house rule that PCs will not die to random dice rolls, and if the player is making a choice that will result in unavoidable death I will warn them before they commit to it.


    They party was fighting a beast that had knocked out two of the PCs. The monster had a slow acting damage over time effect on it that would kill it eventually. The conscious players wanted to flee and then come back several hours later adter the monster was dead.

    I told them that if they do that they will essentially be killing the two unconscious PCs by leaving them alone with the monster. They agreed and went back and killed the monster and rescued their comrades.

    Apparently the player of one of the unconscious characters was extremely mad at me about this because they felt I violated my own house rule by putting the choice to avoid their own certain death in the hands of the other players.

    So, should I ammend my house rules to sccount for this impossibility or just garuntee plot armor or stop using this house rule entirely or what?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    So apparently there was one other issue that occured during the last session that I didnt notice at the time:


    I have a house rule that PCs will not die to random dice rolls, and if the player is making a choice that will result in unavoidable death I will warn them before they commit to it.


    They party was fighting a beast that had knocked out two of the PCs. The monster had a slow acting damage over time effect on it that would kill it eventually. The conscious players wanted to flee and then come back several hours later adter the monster was dead.

    I told them that if they do that they will essentially be killing the two unconscious PCs by leaving them alone with the monster. They agreed and went back and killed the monster and rescued their comrades.

    Apparently the player of one of the unconscious characters was extremely mad at me about this because they felt I violated my own house rule by putting the choice to avoid their own certain death in the hands of the other players.

    So, should I ammend my house rules to sccount for this impossibility or just garuntee plot armor or stop using this house rule entirely or what?
    That's ridiculous on the player's part.

    Firstly because they got angry at you and not at the other players for nearly deciding to leave them for dead.

    Secondly because fighting a monster is a very obvious choice that could always lead to a death if the monster is strong enough, or if the party leaves two players unconscious near it and get the hell out of dodge.

    Your rule there is fine, they're just salty about that situation and aiming that salt at the wrong specter of pure evil.
    Last edited by Merellis; 2019-01-16 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I have a house rule that PCs will not die to random dice rolls,
    Isnt that kind of.. fudging?

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Isnt that kind of.. fudging?
    If the players know, no, of course not.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Isnt that kind of.. fudging?
    Haven't you already asked that exact same question several times in this thread?

    No, because I am not changing the dice roll or retroactively altering its meaning, I am openly telling the players before the dice is rolled that no matter what the result is player death is not one of them.


    The full text of the house rule is as follows:

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    Fated characters, including player characters, do not die unless their controlling player (the Game Master in the case of non-player characters) wants them to. If the rules say they should die the player can instead declare their character merely incapacitated.
    While incapacitated a character is effectively unconscious, although they might be aware of their surroundings and able to speak a few words. An incapacitated character will recover on their own during the recovery phase and can be returned to health by the revive spell but are otherwise unaffected by healing.
    An incapacitated character is not harmed by further damage, although they can still be put down for good if a determined effort is made to execute or dismember them and no help is forthcoming.
    This rule can be suspended if the controlling player wants death to be a possibility, either because they like the risk or want to retire the character from play in a particularly dramatic fashion.
    The Game Master can also suspend this rule in the case of particularly suicidal or self-destructive activities, although they should give the players fair warning first if their life is on the line.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    The issue raised in the original post has been modified and updated several times, but I still wanted to try and give some constructive criticism.

    The word “random” covers a wide gamut from “unexpected” to “inconsistent with common sense, the rules and/or the world”. The first situation can enhance the game by discouraging player complacency and creating the sort of unscripted moments that are discussed for years afterwards. The second situation tends to feel unfair and to deprive the players of the ability to make meaningful decisions.

    To get back to your initial post, there are two places where I think you should ask yourself if you were closer to the first or second meaning of random. (You don’t need to answer me, this is a general theoretical exercise)

    First, the revenant. Was the situation more like “A Revenant appears! Roll initiative” (I. E. The JRPG approach) or did the characters see a graveyard, which they had the option to interact with, and the Revenant only attacked when the characters desecrated the Revenant’s tomb for LOLZ?

    Second, the mishap. Did the character wake up, no money, armor gone, end of story (hey, them’s the breaks)? Or did you narrate the character coming to, stripped of his possessions, the area around him matted and tamped down by whomever despoiled him? Because if the character was robbed, obviously someone must have robbed him, which means the character has a chance (not a guarantee) to find them and recover their loot.

    Note, even if you answer honestly to yourself that the situation resembled more the “unexpected” definition of random rather than the “LOLRandom” definition, you should consider that inexperienced players (and experienced players who are unaccustomed to this playstyle), may have difficulty distinguishing between “unexpected” and “pulled out of your ***”. If so, as a DM, you should engage in more handholding for the players (I.e. Religion check to identify that this is a tough revenant rather than a pushover zombie, hints after it lands its first blow that this creature seems like a serious threat). As players get more experience, you can cut back on the handholding.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    The issue raised in the original post has been modified and updated several times, but I still wanted to try and give some constructive criticism.

    The word “random” covers a wide gamut from “unexpected” to “inconsistent with common sense, the rules and/or the world”. The first situation can enhance the game by discouraging player complacency and creating the sort of unscripted moments that are discussed for years afterwards. The second situation tends to feel unfair and to deprive the players of the ability to make meaningful decisions.

    To get back to your initial post, there are two places where I think you should ask yourself if you were closer to the first or second meaning of random. (You don’t need to answer me, this is a general theoretical exercise)

    First, the revenant. Was the situation more like “A Revenant appears! Roll initiative” (I. E. The JRPG approach) or did the characters see a graveyard, which they had the option to interact with, and the Revenant only attacked when the characters desecrated the Revenant’s tomb for LOLZ?

    Second, the mishap. Did the character wake up, no money, armor gone, end of story (hey, them’s the breaks)? Or did you narrate the character coming to, stripped of his possessions, the area around him matted and tamped down by whomever despoiled him? Because if the character was robbed, obviously someone must have robbed him, which means the character has a chance (not a guarantee) to find them and recover their loot.

    Note, even if you answer honestly to yourself that the situation resembled more the “unexpected” definition of random rather than the “LOLRandom” definition, you should consider that inexperienced players (and experienced players who are unaccustomed to this playstyle), may have difficulty distinguishing between “unexpected” and “pulled out of your ***”. If so, as a DM, you should engage in more handholding for the players (I.e. Religion check to identify that this is a tough revenant rather than a pushover zombie, hints after it lands its first blow that this creature seems like a serious threat). As players get more experience, you can cut back on the handholding.
    Wasn't expecting any more responses to this thread.

    They knew that there was a revenant in the area; the ghost of a man who had been turned and feathered and then burned alive and was no stalking the area seeking revenge on anyone he can find. The actual encounter was more of a "Heres a revenant roll initiative!" kind though; basically as they were setting up camp I described it growing unnaturally dark and quiet and then a pool of oil forming around their campfire before exploding into the blazing form of a man on horseback.

    I narrated the lost gear as having the character, who was an escaped slave, being captured trying to make his way back into town to meet up with the party.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    They knew that there was a revenant in the area; the ghost of a man who had been turned and feathered and then burned alive and was no stalking the area seeking revenge on anyone he can find. The actual encounter was more of a "Heres a revenant roll initiative!" kind though; basically as they were setting up camp I described it growing unnaturally dark and quiet and then a pool of oil forming around their campfire before exploding into the blazing form of a man on horseback.
    That does sound extremely cool. However, I can understand why the party felt upset if you threw a deadly encounter at them that they could neither prepare for nor avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I narrated the lost gear as having the character, who was an escaped slave, being captured trying to make his way back into town to meet up with the party.
    This sounds like the character was captured, no roll and stripped of his gear with no roll, and was not given an opportunity to recover his gear. Is this right or am I reading too much into your post?

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Hello, Talakeal and company!!

    @ All: I'm starting from the beginning of the thread, and putting in (semi-random) thoughts about posts. Stopped at Page 2.

    Note: With over nearly 450 posts, I'm sure that a lot has already been covered, so I'm using Spoilers so people can skip what they want.

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    First, making Characters for the Players, really isn't a good idea. Yes, I know that it saves time, and gets the New Players into the game faster.

    If truly desired, having some (eventually at least one of each Class, but not Subclasses, and throwing in different Races for variety) already made Characters (some modules did this) in a folder for players to choose from, is a better idea.

    But, in addition to the legitimate complaint about it not being fair to Experienced Players, it also doesn't help those Newbies in the long term. Better to set aside time for PC Creation so that Newbies can learn how to build their PCs themselves; this can actually help them learn the game System/Mechanics better, if not always faster.

    I do have some premade PCs, just in case there's not enough time for full Creation, and do everything I can to figure out and put in things that don't rely on an Ability in advance.
    I let the Players choose either Point Buy or Rolling for Stats, and help them adjust what's already on the Sheet.

    Player min/max = IDK. I usually don't allow Stats below Eight, and state that up front.

    You could check my (untested) Expanded Point Buy in Ancient Realms to see if that's ok with you.

    But, even if you do allow what he wants, then you're most likely going to upset him by making his PC actually having to deal with situations where those Low Stats come up.

    I'm sometimes a little mean to min/max Players, in that I'll make spells/items that bypass those kind of Challenges super hard to get. But then, while I like magic, I believe that it shouldn't be an Auto-Win.


    Spoiler: Random Events
    Show

    First, I tend to agree with Darth Ultron, in that, as the DM - you are in full control of what goes on in the game from the NPCs and Events. Sure, something can be determined at random, but you control whether or not it actually goes into the game, and if it does - how much it has an impact. Making a roll shouldn't be treated as a requirement to use.

    Second, having these be something that happens too often just makes your Players wonder how much you care about the game. Or, worse, they feel that their PCs don't really have any power in the game, because some random things can happen and they're lucky to be back where they started.

    Changing to where everyone has the same drawback (lose half money) might be more Fair then "letting" random things affect one PC more than the rest of the Party.

    Sure, even I use random rolls to add interesting things to my game, or for things that I might not automatically know the outcome for: Like the "Results/Complications" for various Downtime Activities. I do most Random Encounters either at the Creation of the Challenge, or at worst: before the next session, and Mark their location/s on the map. This way, Both early Detection and Avoidance (if desired) by the PCs, is thus possible and believable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus
    My players once encountered "the BBEG" as a random encounter.
    Hilarious!
    I can just imagine someone meeting the equivalent of Doc Doom in line trying to buy bagels!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    Sounds like you didn't get buy-in to that.
    I would suggest just filtering the outcomes of the rolls a bit to avoid too unenjoyable things from happening. And if you have to do that a lot, there's something wrong with your tables...
    Putting the fact of these Random things as part of the game, should have been part of Session Zero, and gotten feedback from all the players.


    Spoiler: The Healer
    Show

    Even if pulled at random, this person should really not have just cured the injured PC for a (small) fee.

    This was a perfect opportunity to put a Plot in, or leading to a Quest: where healing is done afterwards.

    Also, you put this person in a permanent location.
    Ok, sure, it's possible, and shouldn't change now, short of something drastic happening to them.

    Personally I would have him being a Traveler, and rarely staying in one place for more than a few months.

    I know some people will most likely disagree - but honestly, which is more believable: Great Doctor with Permanent Office (sure, if they start with the Noble Background and are Rich - or they are High Level), or a Healer wanting to help as many people as possible, and so travels?

    I do agree that this NPC shouldn't just vanish after 1d4+1 Encounters/services. My time limit is put in place when first met, and is stated by the NPC up front.

    As for the PC's interrogations, maybe the Healer really doesn't know how their "power" works, especially since both Divine Soul Sorcerers and Celestial Warlocks don't always know how their powers work. Or - are they just a very skilled (and lucky) non-magical surgeon?


    Spoiler: @Thinker
    Show

    [QUOTE=Thinker;23548054]
    Character Death: I prefer to have character death, but there's nothing wrong with avoiding it. Depending on how you're focusing the game, bringing in new characters can absolutely be disruptive. Nothing wrong with the idea of KO's and scattered parties that regroup back in civilization.[QUOTE]

    For most of my games, I make it known from the start: I'll do all I can to avoid PC Death up to Level 5, where it can happen with bad rolls. Level 10+ means that the monsters are much more likely to kill a PC, unless there is a solid reason to do otherwise.

    I also liked your Encounters.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-08-14 at 11:29 AM.
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  23. - Top - End - #443
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    First, making Characters for the Players, really isn't a good idea. Yes, I know that it saves time, and gets the New Players into the game faster.

    If truly desired, having some (eventually at least one of each Class, but not Subclasses, and throwing in different Races for variety) already made Characters (some modules did this) in a folder for players to choose from, is a better idea.

    But, in addition to the legitimate complaint about it not being fair to Experienced Players, it also doesn't help those Newbies in the long term. Better to set aside time for PC Creation so that Newbies can learn how to build their PCs themselves; this can actually help them learn the game System/Mechanics better, if not always faster.

    I do have some premade PCs, just in case there's not enough time for full Creation, and do everything I can to figure out and put in things that don't rely on an Ability in advance.
    I let the Players choose either Point Buy or Rolling for Stats, and help them adjust what's already on the Sheet.

    Player min/max = IDK. I usually don't allow Stats below Eight, and state that up front.

    You could check my (untested) Expanded Point Buy in Ancient Realms to see if that's ok with you.

    But, even if you do allow what he wants, then you're most likely going to upset him by making his PC actually having to deal with situations where those Low Stats come up.

    I'm sometimes a little mean to min/max Players, in that I'll make spells/items that bypass those kind of Challenges super hard to get. But then, while I like magic, I believe that it shouldn't be an Auto-Win.[/SPOILER]
    I didn't really make the characters for the players, I filled out their character sheets and did the math for them, every decision was still theirs, from stats to eye color.

    And the player wasn't really upset about this, he was just using it as an excuse to complain about having to make a team player who fit into the group rather than just min-maxxing to be the ultimate blaster who left the rest of the group in the dust.

    But this was many months ago, and now that he has some XP under his belt this is no longer a problem as he can be the ultimate blaster and have a variety of skills that are useful to the party as a whole.



    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    That does sound extremely cool. However, I can understand why the party felt upset if you threw a deadly encounter at them that they could neither prepare for nor avoid.

    This sounds like the character was captured, no roll and stripped of his gear with no roll, and was not given an opportunity to recover his gear. Is this right or am I reading too much into your post?
    That's really the nature of random encounters though, isn't it?

    Basically, instead of killing characters, if the group wipes they are scattered and we end the session, then everyone rolls on a mishap chart to see what bad things befell them while they were injured and alone in the wilderness trying to make their way back to town. So, yeah, he did make a roll, even if we didn't actually fully play out the scenario.
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  24. - Top - End - #444
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That's really the nature of random encounters though, isn't it?
    It is the nature of a subset of random encounters. I recommend the random encounter tables in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. After reading it I changed the way I designed my own random encounters. Although some of the encounters are obvious "you encounter hostile enemies", there is a pretty good variety of other things you can encounter, from landmarks (a weird shrine that can give you Inspiration if you succeed a Religion check), to animals, caches of treasure, travellers, traders, etc.

    Again, I want to emphasize that a revenant coming out of a campfire is a really cool visual. But in a normal random encounter, the characters generally have some way to know what's happening before the encounter starts so they can react to it. If you roll an encounter during the day, the party should first see it at the edge of visual range, or hear it even if visibility is poor. Then they can decide if they want to prepare, avoid the encounter or do something else. Even if you roll an ambush scenario, the characters should get a Perception check to detect the ambush before it is sprung and maybe react to it. It seems like the revenant was treated like an ambush scenario and was also a deadly encounter for the level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Basically, instead of killing characters, if the group wipes they are scattered and we end the session, then everyone rolls on a mishap chart to see what bad things befell them while they were injured and alone in the wilderness trying to make their way back to town. So, yeah, he did make a roll, even if we didn't actually fully play out the scenario.
    This seems like a missed opportunity. While I recognize that in pretty much every case, players will complain if they lose any piece of equipment, I expect that they would find it particularly unfair if none of their actions could affect the outcome, especially if this occurred immediately after an ambush they couldn't prepare for against a Deadly-level encounter.

    I want to emphasize that in your other thread, you indicated that some of your players talk **** to you. To me, this is an automatic dealbreaker, and any legitimate criticisms they may have are null and void. They are in the wrong. Period. That being said, part of the point of an online community is for DMs to swap best practices to increase the level of their games. Even if we do tend to get a bit passionate about it.

  25. - Top - End - #445
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal
    But this was many months ago, and now that he has some XP under his belt this is no longer a problem as he can be the ultimate blaster and have a variety of skills that are useful to the party as a whole.
    Ah, I'm way behind, and not being of much help. I'm glad that the situation has been resolved. I'll read the past posts, but keep my responses to a minimum.
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  26. - Top - End - #446
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Never understood the hate on min maxing. Like treating the game as a game is somehow wrong....
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    there is a pretty good variety of other things you can encounter, from landmarks (a weird shrine that can give you Inspiration if you succeed a Religion check), to animals, caches of treasure, travellers, traders, etc.

    This seems like a missed opportunity. While I recognize that in pretty much every case, players will complain if they lose any piece of equipment, I expect that they would find it particularly unfair if none of their actions could affect the outcome, especially if this occurred immediately after an ambush they couldn't prepare for against a Deadly-level encounter.
    Wanted to state my agreement with these sentiments. Which shouldn't be surprising, given my comments about keeping all your money in 1 gem, which you swallow, to be immune to certain bad effects on the table. A table which, iirc (darn senility) Talakeal has dropped.

  28. - Top - End - #448
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor
    Never understood the hate on min maxing. Like treating the game as a game is somehow wrong....
    To me, it's not the fact that min/max is done, it's the attitude and mentally behind doing so.

    Talakeal has posted one problem with the attitude, that one person wants to be so "awesome" with their PC, that they "Leave all the others (PCs) in the dust."

    The mentality that the game is something that can be 'won' simply by having "the best" stats.

    Now, I can understand your point, to a degree.
    Point Buy tends to force the players into min/max situations, if you want more than two "good" stats, and the rest "ok".
    But, even Rolling isn't a guarantee of getting better numbers.

    Optimization for a purpose is perfectly fine.
    Very few people like to be stuck with a nearly useless Character. Being strong at what the PC is intended to do, and weak at one thing, is usually alright.

    But - Personally, I dislike people that make these min/max PCs (especially by lowering some Abilities below the normal Minimum, just to get higher 'Prime' stats), and refuse to actually engage in any of the rest of the game.

    Backgrounds are only for more benefits, and everything else about them is ignored.

    No Backstories or anything to tie these PCs into the Campaign World. Or any reason why they are/would be Adventurers.

    The person not even trying to connect with any of the other PCs at the table.

    *****
    But then, I'm a Grognard with the firm belief that if the game is just nothing but numbers to the person, they should just play a video game, and have friends over to watch if they want socializing. Both numbers and RP are supposed to be used to play in a tRPG.
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  29. - Top - End - #449
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Never understood the hate on min maxing. Like treating the game as a game is somehow wrong....
    What exactly do you mean by "treating the game as a game?"

    I assume you are thinking that min-maxxing somehow allows you to "win" but it really doesn't, all it does is allows you to trivialize parts of the game and be completely unable to interact with the rest of the game, which makes everyone frustrated and bored at times, and makes it far more likely that you will "lose" in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    It is the nature of a subset of random encounters. I recommend the random encounter tables in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. After reading it I changed the way I designed my own random encounters. Although some of the encounters are obvious "you encounter hostile enemies", there is a pretty good variety of other things you can encounter, from landmarks (a weird shrine that can give you Inspiration if you succeed a Religion check), to animals, caches of treasure, travellers, traders, etc.

    Again, I want to emphasize that a revenant coming out of a campfire is a really cool visual. But in a normal random encounter, the characters generally have some way to know what's happening before the encounter starts so they can react to it. If you roll an encounter during the day, the party should first see it at the edge of visual range, or hear it even if visibility is poor. Then they can decide if they want to prepare, avoid the encounter or do something else. Even if you roll an ambush scenario, the characters should get a Perception check to detect the ambush before it is sprung and maybe react to it. It seems like the revenant was treated like an ambush scenario and was also a deadly encounter for the level.



    This seems like a missed opportunity. While I recognize that in pretty much every case, players will complain if they lose any piece of equipment, I expect that they would find it particularly unfair if none of their actions could affect the outcome, especially if this occurred immediately after an ambush they couldn't prepare for against a Deadly-level encounter.

    I want to emphasize that in your other thread, you indicated that some of your players talk **** to you. To me, this is an automatic dealbreaker, and any legitimate criticisms they may have are null and void. They are in the wrong. Period. That being said, part of the point of an online community is for DMs to swap best practices to increase the level of their games. Even if we do tend to get a bit passionate about it.
    There are all kinds of positive, neutral, or both results on my encounter tables.

    In this particular case it wasn't an ambush so much as a pitched battle, and I really don't see how the party could have had more favorable conditions as the revenant is faster, stealthier, and has better night vision than the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Wanted to state my agreement with these sentiments. Which shouldn't be surprising, given my comments about keeping all your money in 1 gem, which you swallow, to be immune to certain bad effects on the table. A table which, iirc (darn senility) Talakeal has dropped.
    I have stopped using the chart, or indeed any penalty at all for wiping; my players are so damn cautious it doesn't make any sense to punish them for losing.

    I am curious about how keeping your money in a single gem and swallowing it would actually help you hold onto anything. Aside from the obvious practical and logistical problems, it is pretty easy to imagine a scenario where it is actually harder to keep track of it; say if you have an upset stomach as a side effect of your infected wounds and can't afford to light a fire at night for fear of attracting attention.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  30. - Top - End - #450
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Wanted to state my agreement with these sentiments. Which shouldn't be surprising, given my comments about keeping all your money in 1 gem, which you swallow, to be immune to certain bad effects on the table. A table which, iirc (darn senility) Talakeal has dropped.
    so any time you aquire or spend new wealth you have to find a gem trader and swap your gem for money and a gem of different value? seems impractical at best.

    not to mention the risk of forgetting it, or the risk of it getting stuck in your intestine and coming out who knows when, or the risk of getting some sickness if you have to sift through your poo every day.

    heck, not to mention all the non-mechanical problems associated with sifting through your poo every day.

    I'd rather risk losing some money, thanks.
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