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Messages - Graytung

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1
I watched the video. I didn't get a sense that Pundit was saying you have to prep a massive campaign setting before you let your players interact with it.


I thought the point he was trying to convey is that there are some things you have to prep (that many gm's don't) and there are some things you don't have to prep (that many gm's do). He's also talking about a specific type of campaign, one that is long lasting and given his penchant for history, probably one involving a good amount of political intrigue.


It all depends on the type of game you are running. A simple coming-of-age adventure won't necessitate the need to develop the setting beyond a village and a nearby dungeon. However, when it comes to a socially complex game where apposing factions have entirely their own motivations, then taking the time to work out what exactly each are capable of and who the major personalities are, what they can do, is probably a good idea. The rest you can improvise.


In that sort of game, it's a lot harder to improvise the intricate hierarchy and interplay between half a dozen noble families, without at first having a foundation in which to work from, than it is to improvise a 1 hour encounter with monsters in the cellar dungeon.

2
Why not...

If someone wants to make a living out of GMing, go for it. I mean, that site is also targeting birthdays and corporate events. D&D could be a great platform for a team-building exercise.

Personally though, I'll stay away from it. It's already hard to find a GM who isn't scared to kill player characters off, don't want to give them one more reason not to.

3
Other Games / Baldurs Gate 3 trailer
« on: June 22, 2020, 07:20:07 PM »
I'm still not sold on the game yet.

We've only seen scripted story threads with predetermined characters. The thing I loved about BG is I could make my own character and go where-ever I wanted. Seems like they are going railroad heavy to me with set characters and set paths. Both BG games started that way, so maybe the world opens up. We'll see.

It also looks way too clean... Everyone, even the damn goblins, look like they just stepped out of wardrobe for some C-grade, overly costumed and styled cheese-fest.

4
In one of my more human-centric campaign settings "halflings" are part of the human species, and the only 'non-human' class. No dwarfs or elves. Their namesake (the erykoi) stems from a trickster god (Erykos) of similar stature.  Most human cultures regard them in a similar manner to how humans in the real world see dwarfism, though of course in a more historical, discriminatory context. Think Sparta for the more extreme reaction.

However, the difference is that being a halfling isn't so much a "defect", even if perceived to be. Instead, humans are more likely to have a halfling child if they interact with the realms of myth (it's a ancient Greek inspired setting). As such, adventurers are more likely to give birth to one, especially if both parents are adventurers. It's essentially a connection to an older, mythological world coming through.

They tend to be tricksters themselves, usually out of necessity, though it is of course something that comes natural to them. You might find the occasional halfling living among humans and they may not know others exist. Communities of them exist however, hiding away from the tall folk; they build temples dedicated to the outcast god Erykos.

5
Don't do it... not like that anyway.

Here are some reasons:

0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains matter. If you want to simulate a chance of collision perhaps you should make them roll a d100,000,000,000,000,000,000 instead, with the result of a 1 causing collision. Yes, I'm being silly. Even going into "theoretical hyperspace" directly through the core of a fictional galaxy might lower that die to a d1,000,000,000, at a guess. There is just too much damn space between celestial objects.

The second and most important reason is that OSR games should have as few skill checks as you can manage. What I would propose is that when the crew want to enter hyperspace, it takes 1d4 "space combat turns" to calculate a safe trajectory. If the crew just wait the turns out, the green light on the console comes on saying warp speed ready, and it works 100% this way. However, if the players want to go NOW, because perhaps they are being bombarded, then that's where you roll the percentile dice... Why? Because the players made that choice themselves, not the dice.

Likewise, if the players don't interrogate a dungeon's environment by asking questions of the DM, then when that player steps on a trap, that's when you roll the dice.

6
Quote from: mAcular Chaotic;1127933
as a 5e player im interested in phased combat

what happens if you need to move to get in range to fire a missile? youre just sol? same with melee attacks

I don't bother with exact positioning, and visualize combat as anyone in melee being "engaged", and everyone else not in melee being on the periphery. Anyone can elect to attack anyone else, unless there is some obvious obstacle in the way. (i.e. if fighting in a tight corridor, then you can't obviously charge a spellcaster at the back)

The order in which actions are resolved account for the time it might take for a character to get into place, which is why melee attacks for those already engaged go first, then missile attacks, then melee (not yet engaged attacks). Spells always go last because there should be a chance to interrupt the casting.

There's still some amount of tactical play, because the place where the engaged combat takes place can limit the amount of creatures that can engage. So say, you funnel 20 orcs into a tight corridor, only 4 can engage in melee at a time. (1st and 2nd rank)

7
I prefer using a strict combat resolution over using initiative. I prefer:

1) Melee attacks - already engaged
2) Charging / missile attacks
3) Melee attacks - not yet engaged
4) Spells
- Loyalty  Morale  retreats  any non-combat actions

Resolve each step. Actions are resolved in roll order within each step, highest to lowest. (and you only need to do it in roll order if both sides act on the same step)

Why roll initiative at all?

8
Broad or abstract skills in OSR games don't exist, this is because that type of skill falls under player skill. Ability checks cover niche situations where there should still be some chance of failure, so a roll is needed. I rarely use roll equal to under ability checks myself.

When OSR class skills are employed they apply in specific situations which relate to a specific circumstance in the game. Finding a trap anyone can do. Disarming it is something only the thief can do and only when the trap is located. If the thief succeeds, no one needs to worry about setting the trap off next time they walk past it.

The reason why specificity is important is not so the player knows how to use the skills, but instead the referee knows when a player needs to make the skill check. A referee doesn't have to wait for the thief to say "I attempt to disarm the trap." Instead, the referee says "Thief, do you try to disarm the trap?". Skills are coded into the game.This is important, because that thief player is still able to immerse themselves in the game without having to reference their skill list at all.

If you want to design a skill system in an OSR sci-fi setting, think first about the modes of play that will exist in the game. Thieves fall under the Exploration sub-system. Would an Engineer class be associated with some sort of sub-system that helps to provide knowledge by hacking cameras or computer systems? Does a Pilot class associate with the ability to fly/travel/control drones in a subsystem that centers around ship to ship combat or space travel?

If you are just going to make a massive skill list and let the players work out the best time to use them, that isn't OSR, not to me anyway. I'm not saying a large and broad skill list is a bad thing either. I love the d6 system.

9
Having players roll everything ruins immersion for me (If I'm the player). This is because some outcomes I shouldn't be aware of.

I've been playing with the idea of Players rolling actions; GMs rolling outcomes.

Anything the players are actively doing, they roll for. They want to smash a foe with a club, they make an attack roll. They want to jump out of the way of trap, they make a dodge roll.

The GM determines the outcome by making a roll to determine the severity of the successfulfailed action. So in the previous examples, the gm would roll to determine the damage caused by the club, or whether the trap kills or simply harms the character.

The whole idea behind it is to encourage players to think less about the mechanical impact of their actions so they can fully immerse themselves in the game. It's the GM who has to worry about the mechanics and implications of what has occurred.

10
I don't know about anyone else, but this whole thread smells like "Look at me, I'm elite, I don't use tropes."

I actually get the impression that the OP is a 20 year old, new to the hobby, never actually played a game type. I'm not saying that's the case, but I'm sure these juvenile points have been discussed an infinite amount of times by now.

11
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Pathfinder 2.01
« on: November 02, 2019, 09:55:12 PM »
I'm actually perplexed as to why people are giving time and effort to PF2, but then people will generally play what they enjoy. However, it almost seems to me that many of the people supporting it are just desperate to see it succeed.

I played pathfinder 2 for about 6 weeks, because I have a history with the 1st edition. The book is just a mess when it comes to editing, layout, writing, and game design. If a 'nobody' wrote the pathfinder 2 book and it was called something else, I honestly think it would have been laughed at or forgotten by now.

I'm actually surprised the errata is only 5 pages. They need a 2nd printing already imo.

12
So what do the NPCs want in your games?

13
Coming from someone who ran a sandbox west-marches campaign that saw the death of over 60 player characters, including 3 TPKs, I can agree that buy in is important, but more important is how the campaign is set up in the first place.

A few anecdotes from that campaign to help demonstrate an ideal and less than ideal approach.

One player played smart, though took risks from time to time. He embraced the lethality of the campaign, losing 2 or 3 characters along the way. He was the most active player in group. His characters were simple concepts, veteran fighter, esoteric elf, roguish vagabond. What he lacked in character concept he instead invested in planning and working out solutions to problems that were happening in the present.

Another player put a lot of thought into his character, about his history and past. This player created an antagonist for his character and wanted to have a confrontation with said antagonist one day. Unfortunately this would never happen, because after about 8 sessions his character was buried in sand and suffocated to death. He made another character but it was obvious his heart wasn't in it. He made a mistake and lost his second character early. He stopped playing.

You can set expectations all you want, and follow through with those expectations by having characters die. I even told new players that they should not write character backgrounds, because everyone was an adventurer and their goal was finding treasure and discovering the world... Players should be dealing with the problems as they come upon them, not turning up to a campaign with a laundry list already. Regardless, some players are just going to take death badly, in fact most players do. You can try and coach players into seeing the game past a character's death, but ultimately it's up to them how they decide they want to play.

Issues in the campaign became more prevalent when story became more of the focus instead of the treasure finding aspect we started with. When the endgame scenario was taking place characters were becoming more integral to the plot, and losing them would certainly be more detrimental than before. It was only at this stage that I, the referee, felt apprehension in having a character die.

I can only recommend that when the dmreferee sets up an OSR style game and they want it to be deadly (and i believe it should), they need to find a way to disassociate the story from the players in a way that the players can still alter and interact with the story, but they do not become the story. I'd recommend a more episodic approach to adventure design, or a vast mega-dungeon environment. The goal isn't clear to begin with, and may just be to get rich. Later, the players can create their own goals based on what they discover, but even then, these personal goals should not be the primary focus, rather the world that exists around the players should be, and the player's goals stem from the world. With this approach, it's much easier to slot in different characters week to week.

If you set up a campaign where players have to write a long backstory, and goals from the start, then you're setting them up for disappointment and later when you need to insert a new player character into such a group, it is harder to do so. Players are limited to the types of characters they can bring to the already existing story.

14
I think the whole idea with the geography of the barrowmounds is that when parties leave from helix they have to pass the mounds (from the east) to get to the start location (west of the mounds).

This is because the moor is quite boggy (the mounds are only accessible in the dry seasons) and the mounds are surrounded by deeper waters. The original entrance to the mounds was from the west. This is likely due to the ancient civilization having been to the west which is why the path meanders from that direction into the mound area. (I might have added a path that lead to the barrowmounds from the west, specifically to mound 12, and from a ruined site in the blackened forest to the west, which i made another adventure location)

It's actually a good thing, because you can describe having the party have to pass the mounds, adjacent to them. They get a sneak peak as to the scope of the mound area and you can set the atmosphere... Grassy islands pockmarked with stone protrusions within a sea of boggy water... A lone, hunched troll walks between two mounds in the distance... There's a particular mound the party may pass that contains trolls on the southern side. There are necromancers on the northern side, as well as the hidden dragon mound.

A party with the means can also swimwade across if they feel emboldened to, but I would not advise looting those mounds at low level (but then they'll learn their lesson).

15
Quote from: JeremyR;1110062
The thing with LotFP is that standard D&D monsters don't really work because other games assume characters actually get competent at combat, which is not true of LotFP.


I don't think it's that much of a problem. Fighter's get their higher attack bonus earlier and the other classes are only really missing out from level 5 onward, even then the difference is small and the higher to hit bonus the fighter gets is a good compromise. The other factor here is that there are no armor or weapon restrictions in LotFP, so you can have a magic user in plate armor or wielding a pole-arm and they can still cast spells if they are otherwise unencumbered. There are also other ways to increase your to hit chance in LotFP, using specific weapons or taking the Aim action. The biggest concern really are AoE spells like fireball, which are missing, but it's easy to put them in if you're using LotFP as a framework to run more traditional d&d adventures.

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