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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Sure, you could claim that it's a matter of training, of skill at using the form - but then that just leads to a desire for rules about practicing with a form, or spells to emulate / steal / remove skill at a form. If no Wizard has ever developed a spell to make a dragon feel awkward in its own body, and therefore lost its Legendary Actions, then the setting just feels dumb. The setting shouldn't have to hold the idiot ball to not fall apart.
    But to do that aren't you messing with the control of there own body? Why not just turn it off completely and kill them then? Or why not use that to rob other wizards of there ability to cast spells?

    I mean really if you are using D&D magic to try and poke holes in a setting... I mean this is off topic but yeah... I don't think too highly of D&D's magic system.

    To Talakeal: Is this the same group as that last thread? I had assumed that but I just realized I am not sure if it was actually said.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    This type of shenanigans can certainly lead to the desire for PC / NPC symmetry.
    Maybe, but my point was that this is a consistency issue rather than a symmetry issue. You can get very inconsistent results from forcing symmetry too.

    In 3.5ed, lots of stuff ends up being tied together through a common abstraction of hit points - characters have them, NPCs have them, objects have them, terrain has them. Similarly, everything resists non-hitpoint effects through saving throws. This leads to a number of incoherent results regarding e.g. doing enough damage to kill the planet, or destroying the planet with a spell that specifies 'one object' while forgetting to put volume or weight limits.

    So in that case, the resulting fiction makes more sense if you say e.g. 'damage as an abstraction only applies to things of similar scale; if you start punching things more than a few orders of magnitude bigger than you, it will work differently - whether that happens to be a creature or an object'.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    This is related to one of the faults that crops up in video games and comic books, where antagonists seem to lose a chunk of their power once they become a protagonist or temporarily take on a protagonistic role.

    So the character who was barely beatable with the combined efforts of all the heroes, suddenly because no more powerful than any one of them, or joins sides with them only to get punked when he/she is jobbed to hype the big threat of the current story. The character who was "cut scene awesome" when they were out of the player's hands becomes a creampuff once they're actually recruited.

    In fact this fault in fiction and games is so common that it has its own page.
    Yup, was going to talk about FF6's Umaro case when you posted this faster. And it ultimately made me despise the NPC asymmetry prevalent in JRPGs, then an avid "simulationist" in table RPGs years later when I learned about 3.X and GURPS, which was WAY AFTER my first contact with 4E Essentials...

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    But to do that aren't you messing with the control of there own body? Why not just turn it off completely and kill them then? Or why not use that to rob other wizards of there ability to cast spells?

    I mean really if you are using D&D magic to try and poke holes in a setting... I mean this is off topic but yeah... I don't think too highly of D&D's magic system.
    Most systems have "degree of success", "more effect requires more power", "easier to resist", or some similar "balancing" mechanic. So "remove training in your body" would be an easier effect (lower level D&D spell) than "stop heart" - especially since the former spell only imposes IIRC a -2 penalty for most D&D creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Maybe, but my point was that this is a consistency issue rather than a symmetry issue. You can get very inconsistent results from forcing symmetry too.

    In 3.5ed, lots of stuff ends up being tied together through a common abstraction of hit points - characters have them, NPCs have them, objects have them, terrain has them. Similarly, everything resists non-hitpoint effects through saving throws. This leads to a number of incoherent results regarding e.g. doing enough damage to kill the planet, or destroying the planet with a spell that specifies 'one object' while forgetting to put volume or weight limits.

    So in that case, the resulting fiction makes more sense if you say e.g. 'damage as an abstraction only applies to things of similar scale; if you start punching things more than a few orders of magnitude bigger than you, it will work differently - whether that happens to be a creature or an object'.
    Hmmm… it's actually rather tricky for me to express my opinion when juxtaposed with yours. Because I mostly agree, and explaining the differences will be confusing.

    The simple answer is, logical or not, the inconsistencies you described *could* lead to a desire for symmetry. That's all I was saying. People can and often do blame the wrong thing for their problems. Seemed appropriate to say in light of Talakeal's issues.

    As to symmetry causing inconsistency… I guess I find it slightly easier to accept "it's an abstraction", given that humans habitually oversimplify bloody everything, than to have mega damage, or hit points vs hull points, or size-based damage, or whatever, that adds more complexity for diminishing returns. Or, rather, that I acknowledge and accept that it is a choice, rather than a "only one possible right answer" scenario.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Hmmm… it's actually rather tricky for me to express my opinion when juxtaposed with yours. Because I mostly agree, and explaining the differences will be confusing.

    The simple answer is, logical or not, the inconsistencies you described *could* lead to a desire for symmetry. That's all I was saying. People can and often do blame the wrong thing for their problems. Seemed appropriate to say in light of Talakeal's issues.
    True. But if it is an instance of the players blaming the wrong thing, I'd be less inclined to just accede to the explicit request that they're making.

    As to symmetry causing inconsistency… I guess I find it slightly easier to accept "it's an abstraction", given that humans habitually oversimplify bloody everything, than to have mega damage, or hit points vs hull points, or size-based damage, or whatever, that adds more complexity for diminishing returns. Or, rather, that I acknowledge and accept that it is a choice, rather than a "only one possible right answer" scenario.
    Yeah, it's very natural for me to say 'everything is an abstraction' since I'm very used to working in physics where basically you know that everything is wrong, but at the same time even those wrong things are very strongly consistent with each-other (e.g. Newtonian mechanics is 'wrong', but you can derive it from both relativity and quantum mechanics). So that consistency property is more important to me than believing that a rule I'm told represents the actual underlying truth of the game reality. So if someone says 'the monster has 12 hitpoints', I'm fine with also being told 'actually, health isn't really a universal scalar, quantized value in the fictional reality of this world and if you start playing around with cat scratches and Cure Minor Wounds you'd quickly find that things are more nuanced than that - but we're just using this as a shorthand to quickly generate outcomes where the nuances don't really matter.'

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    But to do that aren't you messing with the control of there own body? Why not just turn it off completely and kill them then? Or why not use that to rob other wizards of there ability to cast spells?.
    I feel like a number of things in the quote by Quertus, and suggested by you, can be achieved with Bestow Curse in 5e. Assuming the creature has no more Legendary Saves (which I think are just Portent Dice with DM fiat on the number rolled).

    Bestow Curse is a much lower spell than ones that might be able to “instantly kill”. Maybe uses of Hex, or Wish, or other spells, can also be used to debuff a Dragon until a whiny-Player is happy with how awkward the Dragon is acting.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Another instance of this; I use innate bonuses for NPCs because it saves a ton of time on my end and makes it mich easier to balance character wealth.

    It seems like every few weeks I have a player freak out about how unfair this is, and I have to sit down and go through the math step by step to convince them that the innate bonuses are no stronger than standard WBL.



    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I agree with your players. My monsters / NPCs are often wounded / not at full capacity, and do not treat this as their one and only appearance in the world.
    Out of curiosity, are you talking people who have a storyline reason to be wounded, or just randomly?

    The idea of randomly inflcting wounds on enemies for versimilitude reasons seems hollow to me, as the HP system is so abstract and random to begin with. Especially if you are using the default stats from the MM and ignoring individuality to begin with.

    In my mind doing so is just creating a ton of needless work for the DM and, unless you are compensating so ehow, turns the game into easy mode (which I suspect is what the players really want).
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Last month (or was it two months ago?), the problem in the Gaming Group From Bizarro World was that they were retreating back to town after every fight to ensure they were had maximum resources. Now they want every fight they encounter to also be depleted of a % of their health/resources/spells?
    Some of the same players, although the guys who were really vocal about it have long since left the group.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Out of curiosity, are you talking people who have a storyline reason to be wounded, or just randomly?

    The idea of randomly inflcting wounds on enemies for versimilitude reasons seems hollow to me, as the HP system is so abstract and random to begin with. Especially if you are using the default stats from the MM and ignoring individuality to begin with.

    In my mind doing so is just creating a ton of needless work for the DM and, unless you are compensating so ehow, turns the game into easy mode (which I suspect is what the players really want).
    Oh, never because "the story demands it" or "it would make for a better story" - only because it follows game physics for damage to happen. NPCs - and random encounters - have random encounters, too.

    Also, the PCs can see signs of where other things have had random encounters.

    Sometimes, in a murder mystery, the suspect really did just cut themselves with a knife in the kitchen.

    Characters are doing their own thing - they don't just exist while the PCs watch them.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-20 at 10:59 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    To Quertus and DrKerosene: As it is off topic I have filled the issue away for (hopefully) a future thread.

    To Talakeal: I think the (a?) innate problem here is your players to not trust you. I mean we are all human and make mistakes, but here they seem to be assuming anything they don't immediately see & understand. I don't have a solution, or even really know if it is true, but I suspect it is a problem.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Oh, never because "the story demands it" or "it would make for a better story" - only because it follows game physics for damage to happen. NPCs - and random encounters - have random encounters, too.

    Also, the PCs can see signs of where other things have had random encounters.

    Sometimes, in a murder mystery, the suspect really did just cut themselves with a knife in the kitchen.

    Characters are going their own thing - they don't just exist while the PCs watch them.
    Trying to show evidence of a previous battle would be a storyline reason.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    The majority of the "spend X resources on a dungeon day of mulitple encounters" scenarios have it make no sense that monsters would be depleted of resources. They're in their own lairs, minding their own business, until the PCs attack. The expectation here is that PCs are just that much more powerful than the monsters, that a full-strength monster group is 1/4 of the PCs' resources to take down from full.

    I agree, it sounds like your players don't trust you. You should ask them why this is, and seriously consider handing the reins of DMing over to somebody else if it's making all of you this miserable. Not necessarily because you're "bad at DMing," but because they may need to have a chance to sit in the seat and try it "their way" to get a feel for what it looks like from your side of the table. It may help rebuild trust if they see what DMs are doing behind the scenes as they have to do it, themselves.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    There’s a repeated theme here where it sounds like your players think you’re pulling unfair stuff out of the blue to mess with them. That’s a trust issue, fundamentally.

    High transparency is usually the best way to handle that. Show stat blocks. Tell them you’re using intrinsic bonuses before you use them. Do so proactively. Let there be fewer surprises in terms of creature abilities.
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    Step 1: Declare you need a break from this.

    Step 2: Request that each player run a 2-shot adventure while you're out.

    Step 3: They now have SOME frame of reference to your reality, and you can use that to communicate why you think your changes improve the experience.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Quertus and DrKerosene: As it is off topic I have filled the issue away for (hopefully) a future thread.
    I would like to think that expanding the horizons of a GM who is not just stuck in a rut, but explicitly wants out of said rut, would be on topic.

    That said, I think people are probably right labeling this a trust issue, and that is probably a better area to focus on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Talakeal: I think the (a?) innate problem here is your players to not trust you. I mean we are all human and make mistakes, but here they seem to be assuming anything they don't immediately see & understand. I don't have a solution, or even really know if it is true, but I suspect it is a problem.
    I have a few ideas that may help Talakeal. Hopefully, this will go smoother than the first time I discussed my techniques for building trust.

    So, ideally, I put something that should seem wrong in the very first session. The goal is for the players to figure it out (so it's like adding a free murder mystery to an otherwise "normal" adventure). If they don't get it, then, at the end of the first session, I explain it to them - including what actions they could have taken to learn it for them selves.

    It's kinda the GM dating period. It's establishing the communications protocol, explaining how I think.

    Groups that sync well with me, they'll ask, "you know everyone in the mayor's position in the culture you seem to be basing this area on would have a liquor cabinet - did you mean to leave it out of your description?". And when I say, "sure, that does seem odd to your character that the mayor doesn't have one", they know that the game's afoot.

    However, this is for things I do that follow the rules. It doesn't cover things like fairyland Ogres with breath weapons. For things like that, your best bet is to print out a copy of the session's campaign notes, set them on the table in a sealed envelope, and hand them out at the end of the session.

    Also, I'd recommend letting everyone run some one-shots, to let you see first hand exactly how they would run a game. This will facilitate communication about gaming styles better than most other techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Trying to show evidence of a previous battle would be a storyline reason.
    I mean, if that were the purpose, perhaps it would. But it's not. The purpose is to follow game physics. The previous battle is simply a red herring - but a useful one, that can teach them about the area, and give various characters a chance to shine.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-20 at 07:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I mean, if that were the purpose, perhaps it would. But it's not. The purpose is to follow game physics. The previous battle is simply a red herring - but a useful one, that can teach them about the area, and give various characters a chance to shine.
    Ironically, this is probably more an example of an asymmetry than a symmetry. If the antagonists have a 50% chance of entering a fight wounded, lets say, then that means that they're ostensibly engaged in an encounter difficult enough to cause them enough that a few hours of rest doesn't heal it every other day on average. Meaning that, if they were really using symmetric rules with the PCs, then they should be gaining a level roughly once per month. You could run a campaign where you write down a list of all of the antagonists and their forces ahead of time, and once a month (regardless of whether they have interacted with the PCs yet), everyone's level goes up by one. But it would be a brutally difficult campaign since now, if the party ever spends a month of downtime or a month travelling without dense encounters, they're permanently 1 level behind the curve.

    There's an implicit asymmetry here - PCs level, the world doesn't. And it's one that's important to maintain game balance.

    I suspect Talakeal's players would hate it if this particular asymmetry were made symmetric or if e.g. Talakeal spent as much effort optimizing each enemy as a player is likely to spend on their build.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Ironically, this is probably more an example of an asymmetry than a symmetry. If the antagonists have a 50% chance of entering a fight wounded, lets say, then that means that they're ostensibly engaged in an encounter difficult enough to cause them enough that a few hours of rest doesn't heal it every other day on average. Meaning that, if they were really using symmetric rules with the PCs, then they should be gaining a level roughly once per month. You could run a campaign where you write down a list of all of the antagonists and their forces ahead of time, and once a month (regardless of whether they have interacted with the PCs yet), everyone's level goes up by one. But it would be a brutally difficult campaign since now, if the party ever spends a month of downtime or a month travelling without dense encounters, they're permanently 1 level behind the curve.

    There's an implicit asymmetry here - PCs level, the world doesn't. And it's one that's important to maintain game balance.

    I suspect Talakeal's players would hate it if this particular asymmetry were made symmetric or if e.g. Talakeal spent as much effort optimizing each enemy as a player is likely to spend on their build.
    I mean, not only does my world level, I've had antagonists (and allies) die off-camera.

    The PCs aren't the only active players in the world.

    It would be interesting to see if his players hated "optimization" as much as "customization" - and wether either hated went away if Talakeal handed them the whole printed module at the start of the campaign, before they even made their characters, so it didn't feel like he was "cheating" to specifically counter their characters / actions, like the Fairytale Ogre seemingly did.

    EDIT: "optimization" is arguably part of the "the PCs are supposed to be special, as opposed to these mere NPCs", just like PC vs NPC classes. So the GM optimizing the NPCs could be argued to be "cheating" from a tone PoV. Much like Cluedrew, I question the relevance of this topic to the current thread, but it might make it's own interesting thread, of are the PCs special, and how do we set that tone? Because, honestly, often, a few of my NPCs are *more* optimized than the PCs - though that does not necessarily make them especially powerful or important, as it may merely be a highly optimized 3rd level town guard or something. There are other heroes (or those with hero potential) in my worlds besides the PCs.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-21 at 06:02 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I would like to think that expanding the horizons of a GM who is not just stuck in a rut, but explicitly wants out of said rut, would be on topic.
    Is that what we were talking about? In which case yes, go beyond D&D and D&D like systems. However I was mostly talking about how the magic system is most of the setting problems for D&D (to the fact it is ignored most of the time in books) so loosely speaking if magic + other is a setting problem, usually that is magic's fault and not the other thing's. But the details will wait for a different thread, I just wanted to get the original point across.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I mean, not only does my world level, I've had antagonists (and allies) die off-camera.

    The PCs aren't the only active players in the world.
    The question is more, does your world level the way that PCs level? It's one thing to say 'roughly, it makes sense that someone in the army would gain a level per year spent during war', but it's another thing to say 'every 12 CR-appropriate encounters is a level, and during adventures the suggested rate is 4 encounters per opportunity to rest, therefore roughly every three life or death incidents in a creature's life is a level'. The former gets you something like NPC demographics with the PCs as an anomaly, the latter gets you a few hundred surviving Lv20 kobolds/orcs/etc and everyone else turned into XP after a few years.

    I think you're right to mention tone - asymmetry is a powerful tool in establishing a diversity of tones, because it lets you set up and sustain contact between unlike things. Something like the feeling of a guerilla war, or exploring the unknown, or dealing with horrors from beyond, or holding a town against a billion zombies - the contrasts that make them interesting come from asymmetries in the setup.

    It would be interesting to see if his players hated "optimization" as much as "customization" - and wether either hated went away if Talakeal handed them the whole printed module at the start of the campaign, before they even made their characters, so it didn't feel like he was "cheating" to specifically counter their characters / actions, like the Fairytale Ogre seemingly did.

    EDIT: "optimization" is arguably part of the "the PCs are supposed to be special, as opposed to these mere NPCs", just like PC vs NPC classes. So the GM optimizing the NPCs could be argued to be "cheating" from a tone PoV. Much like Cluedrew, I question the relevance of this topic to the current thread, but it might make it's own interesting thread, of are the PCs special, and how do we set that tone? Because, honestly, often, a few of my NPCs are *more* optimized than the PCs - though that does not necessarily make them especially powerful or important, as it may merely be a highly optimized 3rd level town guard or something. There are other heroes (or those with hero potential) in my worlds besides the PCs.
    My read is that if the players are complaining about the wrong things, its originating from the fact that they don't feel in control and want to feel in control. They might identify that with the fact that the GM could pull something that they can't anticipate and there's nothing they can do to guard against that situation, or that they want to feel like they're winning rather than struggling to keep their head above water, or that gameplay keeps going in directions they don't like and they don't know how to prevent it. So calling for symmetry or transparency or RAW or 'no railroading' are all attempts to put words to that feeling, but (I think) they're likely dancing around the underlying issue of feeling powerless. That's why I suspect that even if the GM made things perfectly by the book but powerful enough to easily push the party around (using e.g. high end practical optimization cheese), the players would discover that all the symmetry, transparency, etc they ask for wouldn't actually make them happy, since it would only make that feeling of powerlessness worse.

    Rationally, the NPCs in the setting could all be pulling Team Solars shenanigans by the rules that players follow. But that usually doesn't make for good gaming (unless the players are already operating in that space), even if it's technically in some sense legitimate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I mean, if that were the purpose, perhaps it would. But it's not. The purpose is to follow game physics. The previous battle is simply a red herring - but a useful one, that can teach them about the area, and give various characters a chance to shine.
    Still not quite following.

    Unless you are just saying that it follows versimilitude that NPCs would have random encounters while traveling thriugh a dangerous area, which is technically true but probably not actually realistic most of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Ironically, this is probably more an example of an asymmetry than a symmetry. If the antagonists have a 50% chance of entering a fight wounded, lets say, then that means that they're ostensibly engaged in an encounter difficult enough to cause them enough that a few hours of rest doesn't heal it every other day on average. Meaning that, if they were really using symmetric rules with the PCs, then they should be gaining a level roughly once per month. You could run a campaign where you write down a list of all of the antagonists and their forces ahead of time, and once a month (regardless of whether they have interacted with the PCs yet), everyone's level goes up by one. But it would be a brutally difficult campaign since now, if the party ever spends a month of downtime or a month travelling without dense encounters, they're permanently 1 level behind the curve.

    There's an implicit asymmetry here - PCs level, the world doesn't. And it's one that's important to maintain game balance.

    I suspect Talakeal's players would hate it if this particular asymmetry were made symmetric or if e.g. Talakeal spent as much effort optimizing each enemy as a player is likely to spend on their build.
    This is typically not a huge issue in D&D. It more often occurs in games like World of Darkness were resources take months rather than days to replenish and you get XP for storyline progress rather than killing stuff.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Still not quite following.

    Unless you are just saying that it follows versimilitude that NPCs would have random encounters while traveling thriugh a dangerous area, which is technically true but probably not actually realistic most of the time.
    I'm not just saying that NPCs encounter dangerous monsters, but that mountain lions take down deer, and angry elementals break everything. So that "battlefield" could be anything from a curiously Fireball-shaped circle of Scorched Earth, to a deer carcass, to broken trees and deep footprints.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm not just saying that NPCs encounter dangerous monsters, but that mountain lions take down deer, and angry elementals break everything. So that "battlefield" could be anything from a curiously Fireball-shaped circle of Scorched Earth, to a deer carcass, to broken trees and deep footprints.
    Ok, I understand using realistic depictions of conflict to give the PCs an understanding of the area and its inhabitants, but what does that have to do with resource depletion for the PCs foes?

    In my opinion the odds of an NPC having an encounter that ends in conflict which it walks away from but suffers wounds that are so severe it will not have recovered from them by the time the PCs encounter them is relatively slim, and due to the abstract nature of combat and the swinginess of the d20 system is unlikely to matter anyway. So why go to all the trouble of keeping track of it?

    And more importantly, when do you decide when an NPC is injured and how severely?
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I think it's all a red herring.

    I think your players feel that you are being unfair, in whatever way, and that's the core issue.

    There's a saying in my line of work: When the players say something's wrong, they're probably right. When they tell you how to fix it, they're probably wrong.

    In this case, it seems, based on your descriptions, that they feel like you're pulling out BS moves to screw with them randomly, or higher stats, or other stuff.

    I think that the best path would be to follow the rules as strictly as possible, tell them when you're using things like inherent stats (and show them the math up front), and disclose any potentially unexpected abilities in advance. Make the parameters of engagement known.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I think it's all a red herring.

    I think your players feel that you are being unfair, in whatever way, and that's the core issue.

    There's a saying in my line of work: When the players say something's wrong, they're probably right. When they tell you how to fix it, they're probably wrong.

    In this case, it seems, based on your descriptions, that they feel like you're pulling out BS moves to screw with them randomly, or higher stats, or other stuff.

    I think that the best path would be to follow the rules as strictly as possible, tell them when you're using things like inherent stats (and show them the math up front), and disclose any potentially unexpected abilities in advance. Make the parameters of engagement known.
    Agreed. On pretty much all counts. I'm not sure if "following the rules" or (either version of) "publishing ahead of time" is likely to prove more important, or if the combination of both is called for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    And more importantly, when do you decide when an NPC is injured and how severely?
    Depends on the system, their access to healing, and their actions for the past few days to months.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Complete transparency is probably a good idea if you can't take this alternate route, but I think your best bet would be to ask one of them to take a turn DMing. Maybe suggest the whole group each take a turn running a single dungeon of their choice. (Preferably ones you haven't read, but can buy online, so all they have to do is read the module.)

    Let them see what DMing really is like, and then also let you see what they think DMs do and how they think they want games run.

    You can even openly say that part of the exercise is so that you can get a better feel for what each of them would like to see a DM do, by virtue of how they run their dungeons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Complete transparency is probably a good idea if you can't take this alternate route, but I think your best bet would be to ask one of them to take a turn DMing. Maybe suggest the whole group each take a turn running a single dungeon of their choice. (Preferably ones you haven't read, but can buy online, so all they have to do is read the module.)

    Let them see what DMing really is like, and then also let you see what they think DMs do and how they think they want games run.

    You can even openly say that part of the exercise is so that you can get a better feel for what each of them would like to see a DM do, by virtue of how they run their dungeons.
    Nobody else in my group will volunteer to GM.

    Every time they have tried in the past the incessant whining of the other players has driven them to quite after a session or two and vow to never pick up the screen again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Agreed. On pretty much all counts. I'm not sure if "following the rules" or (either version of) "publishing ahead of time" is likely to prove more important, or if the combination of both is called for.
    That doesn't really sound fun for anyone. Wouldn't that mean spoiling the entire plot ahead of the time, encouraging the PCs to do all sorts of weird metamaging, and taking most of the creativity off of the DM?


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Depends on the system, their access to healing, and their actions for the past few days to months.
    Let's just say its a standard D&D monster who spends their days hunting small game for food, guarding the treasure in their lair, and plotting up schemes for world domination at some far future date.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Nobody else in my group will volunteer to GM.

    Every time they have tried in the past the incessant whining of the other players has driven them to quite after a session or two and vow to never pick up the screen again.
    This...sounds like a lesson in and of itself.

    Perhaps you should put down the screen until each of them has taken it up again. When the whining starts, stand up for the GM; having a player have their back may help.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    Step 1: Declare you need a break from this.

    Step 2: Request that each player run a 2-shot adventure while you're out.

    Step 3: They now have SOME frame of reference to your reality, and you can use that to communicate why you think your changes improve the experience.
    This.

    Solved Problems when players complained a lot about me and the only other player who regularly DMèd (Him they thought to harsh, me they thought to detailobsessed^^).
    After they had the reins they understood that we were simply better G/DM`s, even given my friends love for Hold nothing back" and mine for ...v erbose World Building ^^.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I think it's all a red herring.

    I think your players feel that you are being unfair, in whatever way, and that's the core issue.

    There's a saying in my line of work: When the players say something's wrong, they're probably right. When they tell you how to fix it, they're probably wrong.

    In this case, it seems, based on your descriptions, that they feel like you're pulling out BS moves to screw with them randomly, or higher stats, or other stuff.

    I think that the best path would be to follow the rules as strictly as possible, tell them when you're using things like inherent stats (and show them the math up front), and disclose any potentially unexpected abilities in advance. Make the parameters of engagement known.
    Also a good suggestion. You work in the IT Busineess, no? ,^^
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That doesn't really sound fun for anyone. Wouldn't that mean spoiling the entire plot ahead of the time, encouraging the PCs to do all sorts of weird metamaging, and taking most of the creativity off of the DM?
    So, I'm going with you not referring to "playing by the rules", but "publishing the content" as sounding unfun. There were 2 techniques for that given: tell them up front, and sealed envelope.

    When playing a war game, from Battletech to Warhammer to war machine, all the stats are known up front. Yet everybody has fun. Similarly, when playing MtG, it's no secret what the power and toughness of a Crawl Worm is, or what special abilities a Vampire Nighthawk has. So I reject the notion of known stats being inherently unfun.

    Revealing the sealed envelope copy of the session's notes at the end of each session doesn't even go that far, so I'm not sure why this would be a problem. Of course, for that exact reason, it may not go far enough for your players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Let's just say its a standard D&D monster who spends their days hunting small game for food, guarding the treasure in their lair, and plotting up schemes for world domination at some far future date.
    Well, a 3e dragon can probably fully heal in a week or two (whereas a 2e dragon might take the better part of a year). That gives you some idea how far back its history might matter.

    That said, 3e is rife with things like permanent HP loss, vile damage, and a vast array of curses and status conditions that could prove much more difficult for a dragon to shake off than simple damage would.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-23 at 10:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That doesn't really sound fun for anyone. Wouldn't that mean spoiling the entire plot ahead of the time, encouraging the PCs to do all sorts of weird metamaging, and taking most of the creativity off of the DM?
    I would say just show the monster stat blocks before the fight. I think that's all that would really be needed.
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