D&D discussion

A place to do whatever, out of character.

Postby Mac » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:15 am

My players' first Epic Quest is complete! I have passed the DMing reins on to my best friend, so I will get to play as an actual character in tonight's session.

The players saved an emperor, uncovered an assassination plot, and helped found a peaceful kingdom in the Underdark. They slew one God and assisted in the resurrection of another. (So, on balance, they accomplished nothing.)

Looking forward to casting some spells tonight, though honestly while I love my character I failed as a power-gamer. She's not especially combat-effective. She can do some decent harrowing, though the biggest bads are pretty universally harrow-proof. At the end of the day she's just there to make it slightly easier for the actually effective teammates to kill things.
Mac
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:07 am

Postby Claincy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:44 pm

That does sound pretty epic, my heroes are still dealing with more regional adventures that are connected to/building up to a world-altering one. What level are you guys at?

I'm actually going to be running the climax of the current arc in 2-2.5 hours time, it's gonna be pretty interesting.
Claincy
Head Narrator
Head Narrator
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:55 am

Postby Mac » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:31 am

Ooooo.

We are knocking on the door of level 24. Our new DM is frustratingly fond of presenting us odd puzzles and challenges with only a single solution, which can be incredibly frustrating. She gives us very vague clues, because to her, who knows the one answer, the clues all suggest that one thing, and she has difficulty realizing that we're trying to figure out the one answer, not merely confirm it like she is. It's also irritating that she simply uses DM fiat to decide that nothing but the one "right" answer will work.

We rolled very poorly, most of the time, but a few of our attacks worked very well. After killing the leader, we bloodied one of the archers. I summoned an illusion of the ghost of the leader and used an Intimidate check to try to get the archer to give up and run away. I critted. He was out of there like his tail was on fire. It was my crowning moment of the night. For my first time back after a long break, I don't think I did too badly.
Mac
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:07 am

Postby Claincy » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:34 am

Ah, that'd be irritating. I feel rule 1 for DM puzzles should be to make sure you have more clues ready than you think the players could possibly need. Accepting a clever answer other than the one you were thinking should be rule 2 or 3.

Sounds like you did well :)

My players are level 6, soon to be 7.

Way back at the end of the opening of the campaign (well before I started GMing it) 2 PCs ended up trying to kill eachother in the middle of a battle (the PCs had talked about their enmity beforehand so it didn't come out of nowhere and both were fine with it). The rest of the party basically decided to stay out of it and deal with the NPC enemies and basically left the two to fight eachother. One of the PCs was a wild magic sorcerer, who happened to summon a unicorn during the fight. The fight ended with the unicorn disappearing with said sorcerer impaled on it's horn. (Said sorcerer was evil for the record.) The other PC also left the party after that mess (the player made a new one) and that was pretty much the end of the matter.....till now.

See the PCs have stumbled across an area where the Feywild has been expanded into the material plane and the past few sessions have been about learning about that and countering it. There have been some interesting moments along the way, in particular:
  • They met a creature that could answer any 3 questions about the past, present or future. But 2 of the answers would be true and 1 would be false.
  • A pair of paladins of Aumanator came to hunt down the party's warlock (great old one pact)
  • The rogue made a bargain with some fey creatures and became a fey creature themselves.

In tonight's session they were going to the original junction with the fey wild to end the effect. Who should be behind it but the sorcerer and the unicorn working together. Also in the fight was the leader of a werewolf pack they had clashed with earlier and the alternate version of the party's fighter (long story). The party handled most of the opponents fairly easily, but the sorcerer cast blink and spent much of the fight popping back and forth between the ethereal plane and the material plane and throwing fireballs, while wild magic went off every time he cast a spell. That made things much more interesting. The PCs still won in the end but the sorcerer escaped. Still, they got some good loot and some of the things coming to play in this arc do a good job (I think) of developing the larger narrative of the campaign.
Claincy
Head Narrator
Head Narrator
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:55 am

Postby Mac » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:58 am

Oooo, sounds fascinating. For some reason I was well into your description before I realized my mental image was likely wrong, and the sorcerer is not STILL impaled on the horn... I saw them as like a really dumb centaur for a while. "Left, GO LEFT!" "Stupid sorcerer, why are you in front of my eyes?!?! Why do we keep doing this?"

We also fought werewolves last night! Our ranger's player is leaving for California in April, so we have to wrap up his storyline now. He was a brilliant hunter, then made the mistake of getting drunk and betting a sorcerer he could catch anything. The sorcerer demanded the moon, and if he failed he'd have to give up his eye. He had one year. He failed to catch the moon, duh, and lost his eye in a spell. It drove him somewhat batty. However the next night, the Maiden of the Moon, archfey of, well, the moon, and leader of the Gloaming Court, a fierce hunter in her own right, came to take him in.

Fast forward a year or so and he's one of her best hunters. The party needs her help hunting down a monster, and she lends them Bigglesby. (This was his player joining our group.) When they slew the Behir, they returned in triumph, only to have the Maiden tell Bigglesby with no warning that he was banished forever from her service and her sight. She cursed the moon-shaped pin he wore, and there will be dire consequences if he ever isn't wearing it when he's in the light of the moon. (He was once in the Underdark for a while, but cautiously wore it anyway, and was glad he did when Elliastrae showed up. She glowed with moonlight deep underground and I would have had to actually decide what punishment came with not wearing the pin, had he not been.)

So now he travels with the party. Ever since leaving the Feymoon, he's been experiencing odd visions any time he's in an area of intense magical or divine power. He's figured (right or wrong) that he's seeing out of his other eye, for some reason.

So now we've got three months to resolve his whole thing, which presumably involves finding the Sorcerer, getting his eye back, and figuring out why he was banished.
Mac
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:07 am

Postby Claincy » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:26 am

Ok, so D&D tonight was kind of crazy.

The short: An old player came back to play as a different character pretending to be his old PC. The session ended with him shooting a keg of gun powder (with a pistol) that another player was holding in the tail end of an intense fight. The next session will begin with a bang ;)

Without going into too much detail the players were going back to a cave they'd gone through at the end of the first campaign to take care of some unfinished business (for gold!) and some new business. Last time they were here 2 of the PCs ended up in a no-holds barred fight (the players had discussed the possibility in advance) which thanks to wild magic got rather crazy and involved an accidentally summoned unicorn. One of those characters disappeared on the horn of said unicorn and has since reappeared as a villain. The other character (Kar) ended up walking off deeper into the cave and hasn't been seen or heard from again...until now.

Kar was a bard with a fondness for the bagpipes. I talked to the player a little while back to set this up, he lived near where we were playing so I just gave him a headsup when his character would be entering in ~10mins and he came round and waited out front. The PCs were fighting an evil giant in the entrance area to the cave and I rolled initiative for his character secretly. When his turn came up I described a sound coming from further back in the cave as a figure steps into view, turned off the music, and turned on a youtube video of bagpipes. Then he knocked on the front door. :)

The second (and final) fight of the session was centred around a "Spellforge" and the creatures guarding it, who had been bathing in it and were now considerably stronger than when the party first met them 3-4 levels ago. The fight itself got kinda crazy and pretty early on in it a couple of the PCs stumbled on Kar's dead body in a side room. They weren't entirely sure what to make of it as they've run across duplicates of PCs before (long story) so they continued with the fight. The guy decided to burn an invisibility spell on the body to stop the rest of the party from seeing it which worked fine until the party's fighter sprinted through that room and tripped over it :P

In the end the PCs had just about won the fight, though all of them were on perliously low health and one of the enemy creatures was still standing. The guy saw his chance and lit the fuse on the keg of gunpowder he had and dropped it into the spellforge, (destroying it was always his task). He then yelled at everyone to get out of the room quickly and ran out himself. Most of the other players decided that was the best course of action and booked it. But one decided to try and save the spellforge and climbed in, managed to grab the keg and start hurrying towards the nearest door, where "Kar" happened to be standing. Seeing his mission about to fail the guy decided the one option he had left was to shoot the keg before the other PC got too far away from the spellforge (not knowing that it would blow at the end of his turn anyway), he rolled and hit. And that is where we ended the session.

I think it's safe to say that the next session will start with a bang! ;)

(I apologise for the (presumably) rubbishy grammar in that, I have a lot of sleep to catch up on.)
Claincy
Head Narrator
Head Narrator
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:55 am

Postby Kurkistan » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:39 am

Claincy wrote:Ok, so D&D tonight was kind of crazy.Kar was a bard with a fondness for the bagpipes. I talked to the player a little while back to set this up, he lived near where we were playing so I just gave him a headsup when his character would be entering in ~10mins and he came round and waited out front. The PCs were fighting an evil giant in the entrance area to the cave and I rolled initiative for his character secretly. When his turn came up I described a sound coming from further back in the cave as a figure steps into view, turned off the music, and turned on a youtube video of bagpipes. Then he knocked on the front door. :)


Nice showmanship that.
Kurkistan
Narrator
Narrator
 
Posts: 2648
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:07 pm

Postby Mac » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:32 am

Jealous. My group is not going so well.

I have officially handed off GM duties to my friend and taken the reins as a player. It is... not going well.

She doesn't know the rules by rote, which is fine, no one does. You make it up as you go along and hope for the best. But 100% of the time she makes a rules call, it is to benefit the monsters, and punish us. And honestly, there have been a few times when the text of a power was pretty clear, or the rule was pretty obvious, and she's decided to rule that it works differently anyway. Again, always to her benefit and our detriment.

Now, I don't mind a difficult fight. Gets the blood flowing. What I get upset at is being denied agency. Being told, "Oh, you wanted to do something tactically clever? Well, sorry. You can't." Apparently I am to stand in one place and use my basic attack like I'm button mashing in a video game, while the bad guys are allowed to ignore hazardous terrain because she doesn't think it's fair they would have to go around.

She meta-games, she comes up with half-assed mechanics and then leaves them to rot in the sun. We are currently escorting a Fey, who shows up in battle and needs to be protected. We're led to believe she's pretty powerful, yet she stands there and does nothing but get stabbed. Not only does she have no powers to aid us or even defend herself, she's given no Initiative, and will spend the whole fight standing there like a house plant. She won't even walk away from the monsters.

And I just know that ultimately she's going to turn out to be evil and betray us, but my friend isn't going to give us any clues, because it's more important to her that she be clever. If we figure it out before "The Reveal" then she'll feel like she wasn't clever enough, so the only way to ensure we can't figure anything out is if she gives us absolutely no information, so that's what's going to happen.

We accomplished a very difficult task, and as a reward we were allowed a surprise round at the start of combat. Except... she didn't give us any reason to attack. We showed up to the gathering place of this court of the Fey, and all we could see were "shadowy figures". Apparently we were supposed to just know that it was all right to use our surprise round to... stab a bunch of... they weren't even strangers at that point, they might have been bushes waving in the wind. It was crocodile dentistry to try to get her to tell us the silhouette of the creatures, and then she angrily yelled at us, "You're never going to have perfect knowledge!" Apparently, asking to know if the creatures she expects us to murder are even creatures is now asking for "perfect knowledge". So, that was our reward. We accomplish this big difficult task, and as a reward we are given a surprise round on what might be a tree. We ended up walking out into the open, giving up surprise and cover, asking who they were... and they attacked us without a word. So basically, the bad guys were given a surprise round.

And the worst part... she's ruined my story. My friend is moving in a few months, so we need to wrap up his tale. I am the one who started it, and most of the development was during my tenure. I've come up with a lot of things and a general idea of how I want it to end, and the reasons behind all the funky stuff they've seen. I've dribbled clues and set up a few crazy reveals, hoping they'll figure a few of them out but still be shocked by others.

And she shows up and... torches my house of cards. A massive part of the plot is that the Maiden of the Moon is the ruler of the Gloaming Court. This happens to be canon, but more importantly I've mentioned it in games a dozen times over the years. I've told my co-DM, when we were planning how it would go, why that's such a pivotal thing. The enemy is a political rival who wants to rule the Court himself. If she's not in charge... then why on earth is he opposing her? If she wanted to change the story so I would be surprised... I mean I guess that's fine, but don't do it by publicly contradicting things I've publicly stated beforehand, and don't blind-side me with it. During our planning sessions, she could have told me that she wanted to let me be surprised so she was going to adapt things. Instead, I get told at the table that the thing I established many times is simply wrong.

I just don't even any more.
Mac
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:07 am

Postby Claincy » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:17 pm

Kurkistan wrote:Nice showmanship that.

Thanks :D

@mac, That sucks :( Some of the most basic rules of GMing and collaborative storytelling being broken there :(

And I just know that ultimately she's going to turn out to be evil and betray us, but my friend isn't going to give us any clues, because it's more important to her that she be clever. If we figure it out before "The Reveal" then she'll feel like she wasn't clever enough, so the only way to ensure we can't figure anything out is if she gives us absolutely no information, so that's what's going to happen.

I feel that a good GM should be happy if the players work out a betrayal or other secret before it happens, and happy if they don't. An "Oh Storms this is about to happen, what the heck do we do?" is just as good imo as them not realising until it's too late. Personally I wouldn't get much enjoyment out of my players being surprised by a secret if they hadn't had the opportunity to discover it or work it out.

I was nervous about bringing in an old player as an imposter to betray the party cos I feel like that can easily feel very shitty if done badly. I had chatted with the player (nard1993) beforehand about what his character knew and about not actually killing any of the PCs. He did a great job of "forgetting" details about the past campaign and deliberately missing information he should have and the like. There was also the rather large clue in the form of his dead body, (Nard also knew the body was there so he knew they would find it if they went that way). The other more subtle clue was about how I referred to him. Normally I try to refer to people by the character names while playing and by this point it's fairly rare that I slip up and use the wrong name. I made a conscious effort during the session to always refer to him as Nard, not Kar. I don't think anyone picked up on it but the clue was there for the noticing and that way I wasn't constantly reinforcing the idea that it was Kar.

One of my big side goals with my campaign has been to tie it back into the previous two campaign arcs that I wasn't GMing. I want the players to feel like it's one on-going story with different internal arcs rather than separate campaigns. I think I am succeeding at that point :)
Claincy
Head Narrator
Head Narrator
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:55 am

Postby Bill Whitmore » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:52 pm

Kurkistan wrote:
Claincy wrote:Ok, so D&D tonight was kind of crazy.Kar was a bard with a fondness for the bagpipes. I talked to the player a little while back to set this up, he lived near where we were playing so I just gave him a headsup when his character would be entering in ~10mins and he came round and waited out front. The PCs were fighting an evil giant in the entrance area to the cave and I rolled initiative for his character secretly. When his turn came up I described a sound coming from further back in the cave as a figure steps into view, turned off the music, and turned on a youtube video of bagpipes. Then he knocked on the front door. :)


Nice showmanship that.


This kind of stuff can be fun with the right group and if the GM has the players' trust.

I remember an incident I ran a while back when the party was level 4ish, high enough to have garnered some renown, but not so high that they were gods among men. A group of dopplegangers had designs on infiltrating the city and the party became their target point of infiltration.

Their first target ended up being a dwarf, one of the PCs, that had left the city on his own. I ran a brief solo session with him between our normal games where the dopplegangers managed to subdue him and he was replaced. I explained the situation to the player and he agreed to play as the doppleganger in the next session and helped to separate out one other player so they could subdue him too. Each time one of those encounters occurred, I pulled the effective players into a side room and quickly ran through the encounter then had the captured player return to the table playing their doppleganger.

In the end, the last player was surprised when the rest of the group all turned on him and subdued him, too. He knew something was up but totally wasn't expecting to be betrayed! 3:D

The next session started with all the PCs in their cells and then planning and executing their break from jail. After that, they had to convince everyone that they weren't the imposters in town. :P
Bill Whitmore
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:33 am

PreviousNext

Return to General


  • Who is online
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest