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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I mean, I guess you could look at it that way.

    Basically, they spent an entire session where they got no loot, no XP, didn't explore anything, didn't advance the plot, didn't make any net gain as far as making allies or social contacts, and worst of all didn't really have any fun (they seemed quite morose and regretful about having to kill their allies).

    I mean, yeah, I guess we got to game, but when you only play six hours every two weeks it seems a shame to have a game where the players don't accomplish anything.



    It was a deadly encounter that occurred while the PCs were already down on resources.

    Unimaginative? Could you please elaborate on how anything I said makes it sound "unimaginative" or what imagination has to do with how deadly an encounter is?



    It might not be to your liking, but plenty of games, both public and house ruled, use these systems, so I guess everyone who enjoys these is having badwrongfun?

    I don't know, if you agree to play with a set of house rules and don't bring up any concerns and then six weeks later start bitching that seems to be a problem to me.

    Also, neither nothing nor debilitating disease were on the mishap table.


    Snark aside though: To clarify, he did make his character, he just did it with words instead of numbers. What he is upset about is that, much like standard 5E point buy, he can't create a character with the absolute maximum or minimum scores in any of (or in his particular case all of) his attributes.

    As for the random mishap table, it is something a lot of games use and it looked like fun, I was just trying it out for an experiment, but after he complained I pulled it after the first session.
    Nice to know the misshap table went away.
    I Haven't found the post of it so I must ask, What happened at that session which involved no EXP, allies or anything? did the characters get together to play UNO?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Nice to know the misshap table went away.
    I Haven't found the post of it so I must ask, What happened at that session which involved no EXP, allies or anything? did the characters get together to play UNO?
    Session one they made an alliance with some dragonborn, got xp for it.

    The Next session they allied with some trolls, got xp for it, then went back and killed the dragonborn and got the dragonborn treasure, which they split with the trolls.

    Next session they plan on going back and killing the trolls to get the trolls treasure as well as the trolls split of the dragonborns treasure.

    So in effect they are taking three sessions to get the xp, exploration, and treasureof two sessions, and since all of their allies will be dead they havent made any diplomatic progress.

    Not that I give milestone XP for clearing the dungeon, not for individual kills.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Session one they made an alliance with some dragonborn, got xp for it.

    The Next session they allied with some trolls, got xp for it, then went back and killed the dragonborn and got the dragonborn treasure, which they split with the trolls.

    Next session they plan on going back and killing the trolls to get the trolls treasure as well as the trolls split of the dragonborns treasure.

    So in effect they are taking three sessions to get the xp, exploration, and treasureof two sessions, and since all of their allies will be dead they havent made any diplomatic progress.

    Not that I give milestone XP for clearing the dungeon, not for individual kills.
    It made the individual fights easier.
    And if they did that in a short enough span nobody knows they are treacherous backstabber.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    It made the individual fights easier.
    And if they did that in a short enough span nobody knows they are treacherous backstabber.
    True, It made the fight with the dragonborn easier, but they weren't that tough to begin with, a speedbump encounter at best.

    They are still going to be taking on the trolls at their full strength.

    I am not worried about them getting a reputation as backstabbers, atleast not from these encounters. Althiugh in the long run their tendancy to backstab their allies might leave them at a severe disadvantage later on when they game gets into more kingdom level politics, not just because they have a bad reputation but because all of their allies are dead!
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2018-12-22 at 05:15 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    True, It made the fight with the dragonborn easier, but they weren't that tough to begin with, a speedbump encounter at best.

    They are still going to be taking on the trolls at their full strength.

    I am not worried about them getting a reputation as backstabbers, atleast not from these encounters. Althiugh in the long run their tendancy to backstab their allies might leave them at a severe disadvantage later on when they game gets into more kingdom level politics, not just because they have a bad reputation but because all of their allies are dead!
    Well they might be taking the trolls by surprise and that surprise round can be an advantage.
    On the other hand dead allies is not necessarily a problem as big as you can imagine: there is a spell called animate undead and you can with simulacrum have quite consequent amounts of undead under your control.(of course we will not talk about spawn controlling undead because that is even more broken than using some simulacrum to animate undead)
    Or if they have actually non evil alignments they can spam create lantern archon and create undying (those are setting specific however) to have allies that are not under their control but which does not really wants to do stuff disruptive for human civilisation(except against evil human civilisations)
    Or maybe they plan to start not killing people only once they make a redeemery.
    Last edited by noob; 2018-12-22 at 06:17 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The average level 1 wizard which dumped con would take a rat familiar and the great fortitude feat.(fortitude saves are one of the main saves so you better have to start by that) and that compensate the -4 penalty from the stats thus making you have a +0
    Do you describe each commoner ever as sickly while all the commoners have +0 to their fortitude save?
    Do you describe every expert of a level lower than 3 as sickly as they have +0 to their fortitude save?
    Do you describe every noble of a level lower than 3 as sickly as they have +0 to their fortitude save?
    No you do not.
    Therefore inflicting that penalty to the wizard is just absurd and makes your entire world entirely inconsistent.
    However if the wizard did also not go through the effort of picking a rat familiar and of picking the great fortitude feat then he will be sickly but it is a really dumb build since at low levels fortitude saves are needed a lot.(at high level you can have a buff stack making you immune to most things that needs a fortitude save and use polymorphing spells that override your stats or become a necropolitan and thus make constitution become a non issue)
    Honestly why did he not dump charisma like a normal person: dumping charisma allows you to get extra opponents which is the main resource therefore dumping charisma is a positive thing and people tries to avoid effects that increase their charisma for that reason.
    If you dump charisma hard enough you save time walking toward the bad guys: while you walk toward the king to take the mission to kill the bad guys the king, his guard and all the surrounding armies and villages tries to attack you immediately so you do not need to walk as much before the first opponents and you save time talking to the king(since he attacks you on sight you do not need to ask him where the bad guys are then you will loot the maps for war in the tactics room).
    Dumping wisdom allows you to be insane and then confuse the gm but since will saves are one of the common saves it is inefficient.
    Dumping str allows you to have an excuse for not carrying anything.

    LOL any wizard who would waste a feat on great fortitude doesnt understand optimization well enough to be a risk to the game anyway. Just do him a favor and kill him off quick. Rocks fall or something painless.

    And yes, anyone with a 3 CON is sickly
    Last edited by geppetto; 2018-12-22 at 10:33 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Also, even if it was realistic, it is still narratively unsatisfying and wasting everyone's time.
    Its a game. If the players had fun then by definition thats simply not true. The only point of spending the time IS fun.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    Its a game. If the players had fun then by definition thats simply not true. The only point of spending the time IS fun.
    They did not.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    LOL any wizard who would waste a feat on great fortitude doesnt understand optimization well enough to be a risk to the game anyway. Just do him a favor and kill him off quick. Rocks fall or something painless.

    And yes, anyone with a 3 CON is sickly
    Optimisation is relative to a table.
    Since fortitude saves are needed before you have immunity to those because you can not start as a necropolitan dumping constitution needs to be compensated in some way in order to have the right amounts of fortitude saves unless you are at a table with ninth level spells at level 1: at any lower amount of optimisation you might make fortitude saves at level 1 because without high level spell access you have no immunities to diseases at level 1 and you can not with level 1 spells reliably defeat on your initiative everything(you can defeat lots of things but not everything).
    Also it is false that someone with 3 con is necessarily sickly: since sickness resistance is linked to stuff like disease immunity or fortitude saves it does not matters if you have 4332444 constitution or 3 constitution when fighting a disease if your fortitude save is fixed.
    There is rules for disease resistance and it does use fortitude save and/or immunities and not con throws.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Session one they made an alliance with some dragonborn, got xp for it.

    The Next session they allied with some trolls, got xp for it, then went back and killed the dragonborn and got the dragonborn treasure, which they split with the trolls.

    Next session they plan on going back and killing the trolls to get the trolls treasure as well as the trolls split of the dragonborns treasure.

    So in effect they are taking three sessions to get the xp, exploration, and treasureof two sessions, and since all of their allies will be dead they havent made any diplomatic progress.

    Not that I give milestone XP for clearing the dungeon, not for individual kills.
    That sounds amazing dude, You sure the players didn't have fun? and isn't betraying your allies a milestone?
    What led them to betray their allies btw?

    Am just surprised, how can you betray your allies and not have fun while doing so?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    That sounds amazing dude, You sure the players didn't have fun? and isn't betraying your allies a milestone?
    What led them to betray their allies btw?

    Am just surprised, how can you betray your allies and not have fun while doing so?
    Are you serious?

    The players do not enjoy imagining their characters betraying allies and murdering innocent women and children because they are not sadists and psychopaths.

    No, they absolutely do not get milestone XP for random carnage; that is kind of the opposite of how milestone XP works. This is a sandbox game, their overall goal is to locate an artifact which is hidden somewhere in the region and eventually defend the region from invasion by a colonial foreign power. I give them milestone XP for exploring locations and for defeating or allying with certain powerful monsters who inhabit the region.


    Apparently they believes that the trolls would be willing and able to abandon their current lair and live in a kobold warren some miles away and then they were shocked that the Trolls (raiders and cannibals) didn't get along with their new neighbors, a clan of dragonborn (who were fiercely territorial and self righteous and had been attempting a genocide on the kobolds that had previously lived in the warrens). When fighting broke out between the trolls and the dragonborn the PCs, who had taken a sacred oath to ally with the trolls but not with the dragonborn, helped the trolls wipe out their village, including the women and children.

    Now they are planning to go back and kill the trolls to avenge the dragonborn.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Are you serious?

    The players do not enjoy imagining their characters betraying allies and murdering innocent women and children because they are not sadists and psychopaths.
    WTF? Dude this is a civil discussion, don't call people sadists or psycopaths over a game... Jesus.. What's wrong with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    No, they absolutely do not get milestone XP for random carnage; that is kind of the opposite of how milestone XP works. This is a sandbox game, their overall goal is to locate an artifact which is hidden somewhere in the region and eventually defend the region from invasion by a colonial foreign power. I give them milestone XP for exploring locations and for defeating or allying with certain powerful monsters who inhabit the region.
    Personally I also use the milestone system on my sandbox game, but I ask my players what are their goals for the session and I award experience based on the difficulty of said task. Betraying the dragonborn people fits perfectly there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Apparently they believes that the trolls would be willing and able to abandon their current lair and live in a kobold warren some miles away and then they were shocked that the Trolls (raiders and cannibals) didn't get along with their new neighbors, a clan of dragonborn (who were fiercely territorial and self righteous and had been attempting a genocide on the kobolds that had previously lived in the warrens). When fighting broke out between the trolls and the dragonborn the PCs, who had taken a sacred oath to ally with the trolls but not with the dragonborn, helped the trolls wipe out their village, including the women and children.

    Now they are planning to go back and kill the trolls to avenge the dragonborn.
    This all seems fine. Is any of them a paladin? if not, then oaths and such don't really mean anything.

    I guess some of the frustration can come from the difficulty. the players planned to betray the dragonborn, so they surely expected that to be a fun and difficult fight, and it wasn't. On the other hand, when they were down on resources, here comes a random encounter which is hard and challenging.

    I believe that if you flipped both results, like Random encounters not being that hard and only meant to spend some resources, and planned battles being hard and depending on the players strategy and tactics. You would end up with players more satisfied.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    WTF? Dude this is a civil discussion, don't call people sadists or psycopaths over a game... Jesus.. What's wrong with you?
    I am not calling anyone a psychopath.

    I said that IF someone thinks that it is fun to spend an evening fantasizing about slaughtering non-combatants they have some serious issues.

    My players and I DID NOT have fun because the game went in that direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    This all seems fine. Is any of them a paladin? if not, then oaths and such don't really mean anything.
    Paladins, no. They are all neutral, and after the session several of them did ask if I was going to force them to change to evil over what happened.

    The oath was being enforced by the troll shaman's magic, a sort of modified Geas spell.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    I guess some of the frustration can come from the difficulty. the players planned to betray the dragonborn, so they surely expected that to be a fun and difficult fight, and it wasn't. On the other hand, when they were down on resources, here comes a random encounter which is hard and challenging.

    I believe that if you flipped both results, like Random encounters not being that hard and only meant to spend some resources, and planned battles being hard and depending on the players strategy and tactics. You would end up with players more satisfied.
    They new the dragonborn's capabilities, there were only five combatants in the village and the PCs had fought alongside them before and knew they were no match for the party alone in a fight, let alone the party backed up by an entire tribe of trolls.

    It was such a slaughter I didn't even roll any dice for it, and I am pretty sure if I had the players would not have enjoyed it and felt that I was rubbing it in, I might have even lost some players over it*.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Personally I also use the milestone system on my sandbox game, but I ask my players what are their goals for the session and I award experience based on the difficulty of said task. Betraying the dragonborn people fits perfectly there.
    That was never their goal though, their goal was to explore the troll's lair and deal with the trolls, which they did and got XP for.

    The dragonborn thing just came about in play because they backed themselves into a corner.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    I guess some of the frustration can come from the difficulty. the players planned to betray the dragonborn, so they surely expected that to be a fun and difficult fight, and it wasn't. On the other hand, when they were down on resources, here comes a random encounter which is hard and challenging.

    I believe that if you flipped both results, like Random encounters not being that hard and only meant to spend some resources, and planned battles being hard and depending on the players strategy and tactics. You would end up with players more satisfied.
    The dragonborn were not anyway supposed to be a difficulty or climactic encounter, they were just a single fight in the middle of a dungeon.

    The trolls would have been a challenging encounter for the PCs, but they chose not to fight them and instead ally with them.

    As for random encounters not being hard, I mostly agree with you, but they rolled really badly on the random encounter chart. I have never seen a published random encounter chart that didn't have a few deadly fights on it, and I know the 3.5 DMG explicitly says that about 5% of all encounters should be extremely deadly.



    *: About five years ago when I was running a game the party defeated a tribes warriors in combat, tracked them back to their village, and when I said there were no combatants left, only women, children, and the elderly and the players chose to slaughter them anyway. Two players left the group because they "play to feel like a hero, not a genocidal murderer."
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I am not calling anyone a psychopath.

    I said that IF someone thinks that it is fun to spend an evening fantasizing about slaughtering non-combatants they have some serious issues.
    Then you are calling people who enjoy PLAYING characters that do such things Psycopaths. That's not cool dude

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    My players and I DID NOT have fun because the game went in that direction.



    Paladins, no. They are all neutral, and after the session several of them did ask if I was going to force them to change to evil over what happened.

    The oath was being enforced by the troll shaman's magic, a sort of modified Geas spell.




    They new the dragonborn's capabilities, there were only five combatants in the village and the PCs had fought alongside them before and knew they were no match for the party alone in a fight, let alone the party backed up by an entire tribe of trolls.

    It was such a slaughter I didn't even roll any dice for it, and I am pretty sure if I had the players would not have enjoyed it and felt that I was rubbing it in, I might have even lost some players over it*.



    That was never their goal though, their goal was to explore the troll's lair and deal with the trolls, which they did and got XP for.

    The dragonborn thing just came about in play because they backed themselves into a corner.




    The dragonborn were not anyway supposed to be a difficulty or climactic encounter, they were just a single fight in the middle of a dungeon.

    The trolls would have been a challenging encounter for the PCs, but they chose not to fight them and instead ally with them.

    As for random encounters not being hard, I mostly agree with you, but they rolled really badly on the random encounter chart. I have never seen a published random encounter chart that didn't have a few deadly fights on it, and I know the 3.5 DMG explicitly says that about 5% of all encounters should be extremely deadly.



    *: About five years ago when I was running a game the party defeated a tribes warriors in combat, tracked them back to their village, and when I said there were no combatants left, only women, children, and the elderly and the players chose to slaughter them anyway. Two players left the group because they "play to feel like a hero, not a genocidal murderer."
    I really don't understand this... A bunch of Dragonborn are attempting to genocide kobolds, the party kills them... and they feel bad over it??

    Anyway, the problem seems to be that your world operates in shade of gray morality, which demands by its very nature, solutions which aren't simple. Maybe your group would be happier with simpler quests. Like instead of the Dragonborn being fiercely territorial and self righteous and had been attempting a genocide on the kobolds that had previously lived in the warren... the dragonborn were a tribe of goodpeople that had many problems with trolls and kodolds and were in the run from them.

    As you presented the dragonborn here, I don't see any problem in defeating them...

    Besides if the party didn't want to do this and felt so bad about it... Why did they do it?
    Last edited by zinycor; 2018-12-23 at 02:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I have no problem with fight monsters get loot, but when the players go to all the trouble of befriending monsters and THEN killing them for loot it seems like it wastes everyones time as well as making for a strange and inconsistent narrative / morality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Basically, they spent an entire session where they got no loot, no XP, didn't explore anything, didn't advance the plot, didn't make any net gain as far as making allies or social contacts, and worst of all didn't really have any fun (they seemed quite morose and regretful about having to kill their allies).

    I mean, yeah, I guess we got to game, but when you only play six hours every two weeks it seems a shame to have a game where the players don't accomplish anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    Its a game. If the players had fun then by definition thats simply not true. The only point of spending the time IS fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    They did not.
    Consider asking the players what a fun version of that game would have looked like. I doubt "treasure", "XP", or "wasting time" will be at the top of their list of changes, but you never know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I said that IF someone thinks that it is fun to spend an evening fantasizing about slaughtering non-combatants they have some serious issues.

    My players and I DID NOT have fun because the game went in that direction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The oath was being enforced by the troll shaman's magic, a sort of modified Geas spell.

    The trolls would have been a challenging encounter for the PCs, but they chose not to fight them and instead ally with them.

    *: About five years ago when I was running a game the party defeated a tribes warriors in combat, tracked them back to their village, and when I said there were no combatants left, only women, children, and the elderly and the players chose to slaughter them anyway. Two players left the group because they "play to feel like a hero, not a genocidal murderer."
    OK, so I'm not normally a fan of "just choose differently", believing that most proponents the theory are just putting their ignorance of role-playing on display. But this? This was a good opportunity for you to just choose differently.

    Maybe the Dragon born saw what was going to happen, and fled. Maybe they had some magic of their own to counter the party's oaths. Maybe the trolls didn't ask for the magical oaths. Maybe someone pointed out the problems with the plan before they came to a head. Maybe the Troll Shaman used Divinations regarding the players' plans - even simple yes/no answers would have them know that they can't stay here, and they can't go there, so, gasp, plot hook for which hex they can survive in!

    There are so many ways that you could have just chosen differently to not reenact your previous horror story, but you... didn't.

    Let's look at this from the players' perspective. They do their best to make allies - commendable, and a good tactic, especially if they know where the campaign is going. They have the clever tactic to simultaneously solve the "location" problem of the raiding trolls, and consolidate their powerbase.

    OK so far. But how does the GM respond?

    Well, the first set of allies are useless. The second set? He paints the PCs into a corner with magical oaths, forcing them to engage in horrifically horrific and unheroic actions. And, to make this happen, the GM uses the figleaf of "realism" and "dungeon ecology". I mean, seriously, in what but the most Simulationist of games has Dungeon Ecology ever made any sense? Also, how many monsters did the PCs eliminate from that dungeon -> just how many creatures was it reasonable for them to suspect that it could support?

    So, rather than give a group of players who are unfamiliar with your style a satisfying story of gathering allies, you instead force them down a path that you know from past experience to be quit-worthy.

    Congratulations, you're an internet GM horror story.

    Or, at least, that's my current suspicion as to the source of your players' unhappiness.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-12-23 at 02:59 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Well, the first set of allies are useless. The second set? He paints the PCs into a corner with magical oaths, forcing them to engage in horrifically horrific and unheroic actions. And, to make this happen, the GM uses the figleaf of "realism" and "dungeon ecology". I mean, seriously, in what but the most Simulationist of games has Dungeon Ecology ever made any sense? Also, how many monsters did the PCs eliminate from that dungeon -> just how many creatures was it reasonable for them to suspect that it could support?

    So, rather than give a group of players who are unfamiliar with your style a satisfying story of gathering allies, you instead force them down a path that you know from past experience to be quit-worthy.

    Congratulations, you're an internet GM horror story.

    Or, at least, that's my current suspicion as to the source of your players' unhappiness.
    The dragonborn weren't "useless" they were a solid squad of soldiers, they just weren't as strong as the party, and certainly not able to stand a chance against the party plus a gang of trolls that, in a straight fight, were significantly stronger than the party.

    The kobolds were typical kobolds, cowardly and sadistic.

    The dragon born were portrayed as lawful stupid types, intolerant and violent towards evil, and proud and stubborn to a fault. (If the PCs had decided to attack them in the first place I wouldn't have seen anything wrong about it... slaughtering their young maybe though.)

    The trolls were presented as being a band of cannibalistic raiders who captured travelers and nearby homesteaders and ate them and their families. That was WHY the PCs were going to go out and kill the trolls.

    So having the dragonborn flee or go out of their way to make peace with the trolls would have been wildly out of character for them. Likewise having the trolls not attack the dragonborn or not kill their civilians would have been wildly out of character for the trolls.

    Also, the dragonborn made a big point of not having enough food. They told the PCs they were welcome to stay with them, and even take treasure from their territory, but they could not feed the PCs as they were struggling to find enough food for themselves. They were slowly dying and living in the ruins of what was once a glorious civilization, and one of the children the PCs befriended in their village while staying their told them that this place was not a good habitat anymore, there simply wasn't enough food and the dragonborn would die out in a few generations if they stayed here, but they were simply too proud and stubborn to abandon their ancestral homeland.

    The dragonborn weren't presented as having any magic, but I don't know, if the players had talked to them they might have been able to work something out. But I seriously don't know how I would have initiated that even if I had thought about it. They could probably have worked something out if they had gone that way.

    The trolls absolutely DID use divination magic to verify the PCs story. In fact, the only reason they insisted on magical oaths, and the players knew this, is because when they used divination to find out if the PCs planned to betray them the answer came back unclear (because OOC the players themselves didn't know if they were planning on betraying the trolls).

    The two players who were making the decisions have been gaming with me for decades, they know my style.

    Also, I gave them numerous options to simply bow out and leave, especially when the trolls went to sack the village and kill the civilians. I asked them multiple times if they wanted to go through with this and they said yes.

    Again, this is one of those cases where online and in person experience wildly differ. If I simply say "No," when the players want to slaughter civilians I am taking away player agency, but if I give them the option I am a "horror story," I really don't see a solution to this aside from making a fantasy world where everyone is a warrior and the next generation simply springs out of the ground fully trained and armed.

    Or find players who would never consider slaughtering civilians, but... yeah, good luck with that.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2018-12-23 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Anyway, the problem seems to be that your world operates in shade of gray morality, which demands by its very nature, solutions which aren't simple. Maybe your group would be happier with simpler quests. Like instead of the Dragonborn being fiercely territorial and self righteous and had been attempting a genocide on the kobolds that had previously lived in the warren... the dragonborn were a tribe of goodpeople that had many problems with trolls and kodolds and were in the run from them.
    I agree there. The dragonborn were pretty shades of gray, the PCs shouldn't have felt bad about killing their warriors. Going back to their village and slaughtering the children though, that is pretty messed up.

    The trolls and kobolds were both pretty clearly evil though.


    The PCs had a simple quest, kill the trolls. For some reason they wanted to ally with them instead. This totally blindsided me, but the PCs were already getting stressed out that simply running up to them and shouting "ROLL DIPLOMACY GIVE LOOT AND BE NO MORE EVIL!" didn't work, so I was trying to cut them a break and have the trolls be as accommodating as they could be without being suicidally stupid and lining up for a PC ambush.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I agree there. The dragonborn were pretty shades of gray, the PCs shouldn't have felt bad about killing their warriors. Going back to their village and slaughtering the children though, that is pretty messed up.

    The trolls and kobolds were both pretty clearly evil though.


    The PCs had a simple quest, kill the trolls. For some reason they wanted to ally with them instead. This totally blindsided me, but the PCs were already getting stressed out that simply running up to them and shouting "ROLL DIPLOMACY GIVE LOOT AND BE NO MORE EVIL!" didn't work, so I was trying to cut them a break and have the trolls be as accommodating as they could be without being suicidally stupid and lining up for a PC ambush.
    You missed my comment on your views on people who play in ways you don't like.

    The Dragonborn were also evil, afterall you used the word genocide.
    Why weren't the trolls suicidally stupid again? Did they miss a roll or something?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    You missed my comment on your views on people who play in ways you don't like.
    I was intentionally trying to drop that tangent as it was almost certainly going to lead this thread into places that are against the forum rules, but if you want to force the issue let me clarify:

    It wasn't about playing games in "way's I don't like," it was a comment about people who find imagining to slaughter children to be "fun."

    Note that I am specifically talking about fun, not narratively satisfying, or emotionally cathartic, or an unfortunate side effect of a how events are playing out, specifically "fun.".

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Why weren't the trolls suicidally stupid again? Did they miss a roll or something?
    You pulling my leg bro?

    Are you seriously telling me that the default state for a shaman who is a practiced diviner and wise enough to lead a clan for generations should need to make a roll to avoid leading her people into an obvious ambush?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    The Dragonborn were also evil, afterall you used the word genocide.
    I disagree, as do the printed rules of dungeons and dragons. Attempting to wipe out evil creatures is not necessarily itself an evil act, although it is certainly morally gray.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I am not calling anyone a psychopath.

    I said that IF someone thinks that it is fun to spend an evening fantasizing about slaughtering non-combatants they have some serious issues.
    What a weird thing to say. That's just, like, your opinion, man.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    My players and I DID NOT have fun because the game went in that direction.
    So then why did the game go that direction? If this wasn't something the players wanted to do, who suggested doing so in the first place and who encouraged the rest of the players to go along with it.

    I don't suppose it was your min-maxer was it?


    On another note, I'm not quite sure you are on the same page as your players with respect to what a sandbox game is going to look like. Generally in a sandbox, you're not going to have an overarching plot to advance, so sessions that don't "advance the plot" don't really hurt anything. In individual sessions or small spans of sessions there may be a minor plot as they explore a particular adventure hook, but overall there isn't a plot to be advanced.

    Which also leads me to wondering why you use milestone XP, especially if your players don't have individual character goals. In a sandbox, you're probably better off using some "per session" or "XP for GP" or "XP for body count" style of xp reward. Milestone xp systems don't make a lot of sense when there aren't milestones and a path upon which to place them.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    So then why did the game go that direction? If this wasn't something the players wanted to do, who suggested doing so in the first place and who encouraged the rest of the players to go along with it.

    I don't suppose it was your min-maxer was it?.
    No, it wasn't the min-maxxer, although he is the one who wants to go back and kill the trolls next session.

    It was the socially awkward party face. Basically, the party was sent out to kill a tribe of evil man-eating trolls. He decided to collect tribute from them instead, and the trolls said no.

    Then he bitched at my that social skills were worthless in my game, and I explained that social skills are about a bargain, not simply a one sided concession. So he decided to form an alliance with the evil man-eating trolls.

    I then proceded to RP the evil man-eating trolls and evil man-eating trolls, and they took the party with them to do evil man-eating troll things, and at no point did the PCs ever stop and question anything until after the fact where they were all bummed at having taken part in evil man-eating hijinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    On another note, I'm not quite sure you are on the same page as your players with respect to what a sandbox game is going to look like. Generally in a sandbox, you're not going to have an overarching plot to advance, so sessions that don't "advance the plot" don't really hurt anything. In individual sessions or small spans of sessions there may be a minor plot as they explore a particular adventure hook, but overall there isn't a plot to be advanced.

    Which also leads me to wondering why you use milestone XP, especially if your players don't have individual character goals. In a sandbox, you're probably better off using some "per session" or "XP for GP" or "XP for body count" style of xp reward. Milestone xp systems don't make a lot of sense when there aren't milestones and a path upon which to place them.
    I may be overstating with words like "mile-stone" and "over-arching plot." My point is that I am not using XP for kills, and simply slaughtering people for the heck of it is not a way to level up in this game.

    Basically the PCs are exploring a region and, ostensibly, trying to make it safe for the inhabitants of their home city.

    The "mile-stones" are twenty points of interest which the PCs get XP for exploring and twenty legendary monsters which the PCs get XP for killing (or driving off, incapacitating, making peace with, etc.). The revenant that caused the TPK was one of the latter.

    As for an over-arching plot, basically there is "lore" about the region and NPCs have secret motivations, histories, and alliances which the PCs can pick up on. Eventually, after the region is fully explored, several global powers are going to play their hand an attempt to invade or influence the region and the game will, ideally, switch to a larger scale political one, but at this point there are really just a few hints foreshadowing what is to come, not really a "plot" per se.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2018-12-23 at 08:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I was intentionally trying to drop that tangent as it was almost certainly going to lead this thread into places that are against the forum rules, but if you want to force the issue let me clarify:

    It wasn't about playing games in "way's I don't like," it was a comment about people who find imagining to slaughter children to be "fun."

    Note that I am specifically talking about fun, not narratively satisfying, or emotionally cathartic, or an unfortunate side effect of a how events are playing out, specifically "fun.".
    Fine, I'll just have faith that you didn't mean to disrespect people you don't know



    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You pulling my leg bro?

    Are you seriously telling me that the default state for a shaman who is a practiced diviner and wise enough to lead a clan for generations should need to make a roll to avoid leading her people into an obvious ambush?
    Why wouldn't he? He is a troll who are tipically stupid, did you tell them about this wise divider before the encounter? If not, why do the trolls have one? You could have easily be ignored it. If you did, well no wonder they wanted to talk to the trolls, I wouldn't want to face wise espellcasting trolls either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    I disagree, as do the printed rules of dungeons and dragons. Attempting to wipe out evil creatures is not necessarily itself an evil act, although it is certainly morally gray.
    I thought you were playing a modified version of 5e, which doesn't have that rule.

    The more I read about this, the more it seems like you didn't give your players enough options. And the sole reason behind the dragonborn getting slaughtered was because the trolls had access to a powerful caster able to cast geas, which isn't their fault at all.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    And afterwards wanting to kill the trolls is logical: they were everything but allies: allies are not people mind controlling you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    And afterwards wanting to kill the trolls is logical: they were everything but allies: allies are not people mind controlling you.
    Absolutely agree.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    I am going to toss out that there could also be a pretty big legitimate disconnect in expectations from social skills. The 5e skills descriptions don't necessarily say you have to do more than "I use persuasion."
    Rather than emphasizing the futility of just saying "I persuade" focus on the fact that a single skill check likely won't completely rewrite the troll's entire personality.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    And afterwards wanting to kill the trolls is logical: they were everything but allies: allies are not people mind controlling you.
    A few things:

    First: It may be logical, but it is still a waste of time and effort; it will be know easier to kill the trolls now than it would have been in the first place.

    Second: Evil or not, the trolls are legitimately their allies at this point, and having a tribe of trolls could be extremely helpful in the future.

    Third: It wasn't technically mind-control. I said it was a modified Gaes, the actual effects of which are that either side takes some psychic damage if they attack the other in the mountain.

    Fourth: The PCs voluntarily agreed to take a mystical oath.

    Fifth: I am not sure if I agree with that premise. I can think of many situations where you would want to be mind controlled by an ally, and I don't think its weird to have something that verifies the loyalty of a potential new ally who has yet to prove their motivations.

    Sixth: It did go both ways. Every one of the trolls also took the oath and suffers the exact same effects should they betray the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Why wouldn't he? He is a troll who are tipically stupid, did you tell them about this wise divider before the encounter? If not, why do the trolls have one? You could have easily be ignored it. If you did, well no wonder they wanted to talk to the trolls, I wouldn't want to face wise espellcasting trolls either.
    The trolls where always led by a powerful shaman; I actually created the dungeon well before any of the players even signed onto the campaign, and that was always the idea.

    I don't recall if the players knew this before approaching the trolls entirely, but they certainly knew this before entering their domain, when they first tried to talk to the troll lookouts they were told that they would need to speak with the shaman before an alliance could be made, and the PCs asked to be brought to the shaman.

    Are you seriously saying that because a monster's leader has character levels the PCs should be quaking in their boots and hesitant about the whole adventure? Because that is the case with pretty much every adventure I have ever run, played in, or module I read through, so that seems like a pretty weird statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    I thought you were playing a modified version of 5e, which doesn't have that rule.
    I will have to take your word for it that it isn't a rule in 5E. I know for a fact good characters can slay evil characters to their heart's content in 1E-3.5E, but I am afb at the moment so I don't know what 5E has to say about it. I assume that it is silent about the issue one way or the other though, leading it up to the DM to decide.

    I personally don't enforce alignment as anything more than a guide line. But I do recognize that there is a distinction "fanatical guy who slays evil without mercy" and "sadist who kills anyone weaker than them for fun".

    I did not say it was 5E, I said it was like E6. I am playing a simplified version of my own Heart of Darkness system which has designed to teach beginners who are new to RPGs.

    Heart of Darkness is a streamlined d20 game that is the same general rules and themes as D&D, although it has gothic and western elements to the setting (think Stephen King's dark tower series) and rather than having strict classes character creation is a bit more freeform (think Exalted). But for the purposes of a story like this if you think of it as 3E D&D played at the lower-mid levels of (both literal levels and optimization) that should work fine.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2018-12-24 at 10:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    I really don't get this Talakeal, You say neither you nor your players had fun, which you recognize as a problem. But, at the same time, you don't see you doing anything wrong, even when pointed out to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    A few things:

    First: It may be logical, but it is still a waste of time and effort; it will be know easier to kill the trolls now than it would have been in the first place.
    Players don't know the consequences of their ations before taking them, Silly of you to point this out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Second: Evil or not, the trolls are legitimately their allies at this point, and having a tribe of trolls could be extremely helpful in the future.
    As far as I understand the situation, the players don't want to kill the trolls becasue of their lack of utility, but because of the horrible acts they commited

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Third: It wasn't technically mind-control. I said it was a modified Gaes, the actual effects of which are that either side takes some psychic damage if they attack the other in the mountain.


    Fourth: The PCs voluntarily agreed to take a mystical oath.

    Sixth: It did go both ways. Every one of the trolls also took the oath and suffers the exact same effects should they betray the party.
    Doesn't make it any better. Now the players are guilty of having helped the trolls under threat of damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Fifth: I am not sure if I agree with that premise. I can think of many situations where you would want to be mind controlled by an ally, and I don't think its weird to have something that verifies the loyalty of a potential new ally who has yet to prove their motivations.
    I can't think of any situations where I would like to be mind crontrolled, I can think of several where I would rather die than being mind controlled.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The trolls where always led by a powerful shaman; I actually created the dungeon well before any of the players even signed onto the campaign, and that was always the idea.

    I don't recall if the players knew this before approaching the trolls entirely, but they certainly knew this before entering their domain, when they first tried to talk to the troll lookouts they were told that they would need to speak with the shaman before an alliance could be made, and the PCs asked to be brought to the shaman.

    Are you seriously saying that because a monster's leader has character levels the PCs should be quaking in their boots and hesitant about the whole adventure? Because that is the case with pretty much every adventure I have ever run, played in, or module I read through, so that seems like a pretty weird statement.
    (emphasis mine) Well, yeah, that's pretty much how I act whenever i face a monster with class levels, specially one that can cast spells as incredible as a modifed version of Geass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I will have to take your word for it that it isn't a rule in 5E. I know for a fact good characters can slay evil characters to their heart's content in 1E-3.5E, but I am afb at the moment so I don't know what 5E has to say about it. I assume that it is silent about the issue one way or the other though, leading it up to the DM to decide.

    I personally don't enforce alignment as anything more than a guide line. But I do recognize that there is a distinction "fanatical guy who slays evil without mercy" and "sadist who kills anyone weaker than them for fun".

    I did not say it was 5E, I said it was like E6. I am playing a simplified version of my own Heart of Darkness system which has designed to teach beginners who are new to RPGs.

    Heart of Darkness is a streamlined d20 game that is the same general rules and themes as D&D, although it has gothic and western elements to the setting (think Stephen King's dark tower series) and rather than having strict classes character creation is a bit more freeform (think Exalted). But for the purposes of a story like this if you think of it as 3E D&D played at the lower-mid levels of (both literal levels and optimization) that should work fine.
    My bad, however you might want to talk to your players about these moral issues, I know my table would not be okay with good characters doing genocide.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2018-12-24 at 11:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    This sounds like a case where the players really have no idea what to expect from any of their actions and are just blindly making random declarations and hoping you let them know what to do.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by LankyOgre View Post
    This sounds like a case where the players really have no idea what to expect from any of their actions and are just blindly making random declarations and hoping you let them know what to do.
    Which is pretty normal for new players
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