mac wrote:On a more positive note, I managed last night to almost make a player roll a Death Saving Throw in D&D!
mac wrote:I have tried explaining to them that they have a VASTLY overdeveloped sense of danger. I have heard them complain because that battle was so tough, and two of the PCs actually got bloodied. I was like ARE YOU NUTS. I got the tank unconscious three times, but the healer was always there with a spell. We had to pause mid-combat, but finally one guy is unconscious, the healer is out of healing spells, and unless the second healer shows up for next combat and also gets a turn before the tank has his, he'll finally have to throw a single death saving throw.
Herowannabe wrote:Just take the Dalinar approach- Storm in there, smash their Shardplate to pieces, beat the snot out of them, put your boot on their throat and say, "See? If I wanted to kill you I could. Easily. But I don't. What I want is an enjoyable game."
Claincy wrote:@mac, I'm kinda with Hero here, give them an actually really hard fight (at a dramatically appropriate moment) to reset their baseline of what constitutes serious danger.
Claincy wrote:An example of a situation where it's totally ok to freak out about dying is when: you're unconscious, your hit point maximum has been reduced to 1 and the chasme demon that did it to you still has it's proboscis embedded in your chest. So if it isn't forced away from you before it's next turn, your dead. And if the DM had rolled 1 point of damage higher on either of the attacks that brought you to that state...you'd be dead.
Claincy wrote:That was a scary one
Claincy wrote:Generally speaking though, in 5e if I consider an encounter to be challenging I'm generally expecting at least one PC to drop at some point during the fight.
Kadrok wrote:Doesn't D&D have that Clone Spell that lets you Cylon-Resurrect if you die? I hope Fantasy Craft gets in on that action.
Claincy wrote:Yeah there is one, (in 5th Ed) it's 8th level and needs to be done at least 120 days in advance though. There's plenty (too many imo) of easier ways of ressing in D&D.
Kadrok wrote:But come on man... Cylon Res! I'd want a lab full of inert-Kadroks primed and ready.
Claincy wrote:I didn't say it wouldn't be cooler, just harder
Claincy wrote:It's a spell that's just begging to be used for a recurring villain....actually...hmmmm
Kadrok wrote:I AM the recurring villain. Pity I can't get the clone spell in Path of Steel... unless...
Kadrok wrote:*Makes an Atium Spike containing Jastes's soul*
Claincy wrote:You're playing 4e? (Not judging anything, just curious )
Claincy wrote:I have a bit of a different style from the standard D&D dungeon crawling adventure. I run a smaller number of significantly harder encounters mixed with an approximately equal (or slightly less, it varies) amount of roleplaying, mystery and non-combat exploration.
Claincy wrote:I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a more dungeon crawl focused game, it's just not my style. I often find we only get through a maximum of 2-3 combat encounters in a session anyway, so I'd rather have 1 or 2 really interesting and challenging encounters in that time than 3 lesser ones.
Claincy wrote:My personal philosophy is that an encounter is made interesting by 3 pillars: interesting/varied environments, interesting/varied enemies and narrative significance.
Claincy wrote:I try to make every combat be significant in at least one of those 3 pillars, preferably more.
Claincy wrote:I also play a style where player death is possible, but rare. Ok, actually, no-ones died at all yet but we've only had a few sessions since I took over
mac wrote:1. Yes, 4e. We began our campaign years ago when it was the only option, and translating to 5e didn't seem feasible. Also, I was involved in the early playtests of 5e and did not like it. Since, I have yet to have anyone explain to me what's so great about 5e. I know during playtesting they made a huge deal about how "Skills" in 4e were absolutely awful and 5e was going to totally revamp it with The Plan. And I pointed out what was wrong with 4e Skills, and pointed out that The Plan did literally nothing to address any of that, and people told me but no, it'll be better. Just see. Then real 5e came out and it handles skills exactly like 4e did, with very slightly fewer, and slightly different names for some of them. I am open to someone explaining why 5e is an improvement, but I have asked a lot of veteran gamers and have yet to get a real answer. 2. Yeah, this isn't a standard "dungeon crawler" either. I don't think I formalized it to your Pillars, but I do something very similar. We can only meet for about two hours at a time, so one combat encounter per night is about all we can handle. Our system is as follows: We pick a date to play. I email everyone with a little story blurb, either beginning or continuing the story, letting them know the set-up for the whole quest or the fall-out from their most recent encounter. At this point I typically have a general sense of what I want the next combat encounter to be. Then we have a few days of back-and-forth emails where the players will roleplay a bit, maybe make some decisions about how they want to proceed. Typically their decisions simply flavor what happens next, but every so often they throw me a curveball and decide to go way off-script and I have to shelve the idea in my head and come up with something unique. Then we typically find some way to do an email skill challenge; the big change in my system is I make everything a group check. Everyone rolls what they think is appropriate, what they think they can contribute to overcome this next challenge, and I total up everyone's score, sometimes apply a few bonuses for creativity or teamwork, and they all pass or fail together. By then it's usually time for combat. I do typically try to throw in at least one or two interesting terrain features though I've been slacking on that somewhat recently. The combat usually has at least the flavor of something narratively thematic (though I know the Lore of D&D far better than my players so mostly it goes over their heads). Whenever possible, I like the combat encounters to speak someone to at least one player's backstory or sub-plot. Beyond that I try to build up my crunch a lot, then cover it with fluff. Like, I've found my players aren't fans of Lurkers so I save those for when I want to be vexing. One encounter they'll face paper tigers, the next one glass cannons behind bullet meat. Minions don't work out, mechanically, and Solos tend to end too quickly, so I mostly stick with Standards and Elites. It's not as flagrantly interesting as your Pillars, but my players do tend to think tactically, and it keeps them on their toes. They really seem to enjoy the opening gambit of any encounter as they try to determine which bad guys are squishy, which are gonna deal damage, and omigod is one of them going to dominate someone. 3. So, yeah, like you, I like to have mystery, and roleplay. We just tend to do most of that via email, though every so often something is relevant enough that we take the time to meet and do it in person. Heh, I recently had someone set them up to make it look like they hired assassins to kill the Emperor. I apparently did an excellent job, because at one point one of the players, OOC, turned to the guy next to her and asked, "Wait, we didn't actually do this, did we?"
OK, sounds like our GMing styles have a fair bit in common Though our campaigns sound very differentClaincy wrote:Just moving this convo to a thread so I can respond properly as it's getting pretty large
(I'm gonna have to be brief for now cos it's late )
Regarding 4e vs 5e:
Honestly, I can't give you much of an answer. I've only played 1 session of 4e so though I've picked up a bit from reading stuff online I can't compare them very well. But from what I know/gathered skill challenges as a formalised structure were removed in favour of more free form individual rolls. Whether that works better or worse probably comes down to the group and DM. In general 5e has a focus on less rules based, more free form play. Personally I like that as I have a preference for rules-light systems, even 5e is a bit rules heavier than my normal preference. Generally more complicated rules systems tend to aid tactical play more but support roleplaying less.
In any case, Sly Flourish has an article on the differences that will probably be a lot more helpful at illustrating the differences. http://slyflourish.com/4e_dms_guide_to_5e.html
I can't remember if I've read through that article to be honest, but the other ones of his I've read are good.
My crew currently meets fortnightly for 4-5 hour sessions on Friday nights and pretty much everything happens inside the sessions. Having emails like that would make for a quite different experience. It'd certainly make it easier to know in advance roughly what the players were going to do each week. I can guess of course, but I have to prepare more wildly and improvise more. Tomorrow's session is a good example of this actually. They just finished the climax of the current arc and there are several things they might choose to do at this point and I really won't know what they'll decide till it's happening
That's really good I've been seeding a lot of character elements into the plot too. More for the ones who have given me a backstory of course.Whenever possible, I like the combat encounters to speak someone to at least one player's backstory or sub-plot.
NiceHeh, I recently had someone set them up to make it look like they hired assassins to kill the Emperor. I apparently did an excellent job, because at one point one of the players, OOC, turned to the guy next to her and asked, "Wait, we didn't actually do this, did we?"