Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

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Spuddly
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

You know there's nothing stopping you from using your bastard sword 2 handed, then switching back to one handed? You just need a way of freeing that shield arm up momentarily. Of course, it's all gear dependent, so who knows what your DM will allow and what he won't. Well, you probably have a good idea. :wink:

The real way to get damage out of leap attack is by taking shocktrooper, which means you'll likely have negative AC after you're through charging something. It sounds like this isn't an option for you, though. You asked for ways to improve your damage, and outside of more nifty gear, the fastest way to do that is holding something in two hands and power attacking, preferably with shocktrooper and leap attack. Your int is too low to be a tripper or disarmer, unfortunately. You may just get stuck with being a tank without the dps.


Eh, I just feel like I'm throwing out generic min/max advice that requires you to scrap your character concept and instead be a giant psychic robot who likes to mario jump things. I wouldn't take paladin past whatever level gives you charging smite, and just pick up an extra smite feat or two. Going into something psychic incurs multiclassing penalties, unfortunately, and you have that Eberron feat that let's you go back into paladin.

how to always win on a skill check
Spoiler:
Skills are actually the easiest thing in the game to get to absurd levels. So you have a -8 penalty. That's a little ouch. The upside is that jump is always a class skill for you, so you get your level +3 on it. A ring of jumping +5 is cheap; 2,500 gp. That's roughly the selling price of two +1 longswords you get as loot at level 5 from humanoid enemies. A strength boosting item, preferably +4, adds +2 to hit, +2 damage, and +2 to jump checks. Alternatively, you have your caster allies put bull strength on you. It lasts 1min/level, so about one fight. For 4k, you get a pearl of power II that lets your caster put the spell on you twice a day. 8k = 3/ day. When you hit eighth level, you can use these pearls for casting your own bull strength (though by that time, what else are your party's casters' 2nd level slots good for, other than glitterdust?), or other spells. This is not as great a choice, since the more encounters a day, the less strength, and there's also buffing time if you don't get to put it up before battle. Now add haste, which your casters should be putting up pretty much every serious battle past level 7. If preparing more than one haste is a big deal for them, buy a 3rd level pearl of power. 9k instead of the 12k of boots of speed. Boots of speed are also nice. Either way, haste is giving you +12 to jump checks. Add in prayer. If there's a cleric in your party, there's no reason this shouldn't also be up in important fights.

So let's look at the total:
1d20 + 8 + 2 base str + 1 magic str + 5 item + 12 haste + 1 luck - 8 for being awesome = 1d20 + +21. Of course, this hinges on having haste on before you charge. Boots of speed are never a bad item choice. With the haste and str alone, no other items, you have +14 to jump checks.

Not a 100% sure thing, but investment in these items (pearls of power, gauntlets of str, boots of speed) have much more utility outside of jumping. The biggest loss is the skill point sunk into jump.

Oh, and then you could always have a [url=http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/jump.htm[/url] Jump spell put on you before combat for a bonus that stacks with all mentioned above.

Now, on a roll of 1, we're getting jump checks of 52 at level 9 with all of the above! And this is without feats, races, obscure spells, or incredible speed increases! Just make sure to take some ranks in the exemplar prestige class (complete adventurer) so you can use that jump check as a diplomacy check! You can now jump over the fire giant king and turn all his hostile subjects to friendly as a move action.


caster stuff:
Spoiler:
I know; what classes are your allies playing? Perhaps if they changed their play style a little, you could get more mileage. Are there any bards/clerics/wizards in the party? Haste would help you (more speed, more to hit, more hits), as would magic vestment/greater magic weapon spells. Recitation and prayer I think both work on warforged juggernaughts, and give to hit. It's unfortunate morale bonuses won't help you out here; they would be awesome otherwise. Other things that could help would be if the enemy were entangled, dazed, stunned, prone, flanked, blind, level drained, ability damaged, flat footed, shaken, fatigued, frightened, grappled, panicked, or exhausted. Cursed and with stat penalties would help, too. Your arcane caster can do all those with mostly no save spells and from relatively low spell slots, depending on what books you have (complete arcane, mage & spell compendium being the big ones). Orb of fire, for instance, does 1d6/level, capping at 15d6 damage, is a ranged touch without save or SR. Along with that, it has a save or be dazed for a round. Stunning ray stuns for 1d4 rounds on a failed save, or 1 round on a successful save. Ray of enfeeblement/ray of clumsiness reduce strength and dex, respectively. Lower strength means you won't be hit so hard, and clumsiness makes them easier to hit. Check out Escalating Enfeeblement in Complete Mage.

Those spells can all be cast from relatively low slots (1st to 4th), and when they offer a save, either still have an effect, or affect an area, meaning multiple enemies can be hit with it. Even if they make their save 50% of the time, it's a low level spell slot that makes your job a heck of a lot easier. Much of the time, buff, debuff, and control is a better route for the party casters, as it means their tank becomes much more effective.


Ugh, that just turned into "how to play a caster." Sorry.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:28 pm UTC

Other classes -
Changeling (just found that out too) Warlock/Rogue - our trapfinder. Not disarmer.
Shifter Ranger - He's our damage dealer. What with his favored enemies being Evil Outsider and some hellacious bow....
Elven Cleric/Bard - Kinda.. odd class choice but.. whatever.
Human Artificer (I love that guy. I LOVE HIM! A crapload of his class as I can tell revolves around him creating a Construct and buffing it. I'm a Construct. Guess who gets buffed) - he's our trap disarmer.
when they can show up - a Monk and a Fighter.

If I had the intelligence, I'd go for Unarmed Strike and the Grapple feat. I have built-in adamantine armor spikes, so... yeah. As I don't.. and again, thanks for pointing out that class... I'm thinking Extra Smiting a bunch of times and the Hellreaver class, if the DM okays it.

Honestly, the only reason I'm not keen on continuing on the Paladin route is.. all it gets me is the ability to cast higher level spells (which I can't utilize with my 12 Wis) and more uses of Remove Disease (We've got a cleric and two people with Use Magic Device, one of them being the Artificer who can fake about any spell), more smiting (which I can get with a feat), and better Lay on Hands.

The extra lay on hands is nice, as at this point I'm immune to healing effects and spells. There's some Eberron Construct Repair spells that work, sure.. but Cure Light Wounds went from doing half healing to doing None. DM said my Lay on Hands worked on me, despite it being a Healing Effect. So, at the moment, that's 18 points of healing for myself. Granted, I could increase that just by increasing my charisma as well, which has the double benefit of increasing all of my saves (as.. obviously I'm increasing levels in another class and gaining it's benefits) while increasing my Paladin level just does... extra BAB, and stuff I can fake elsewhere.

So, yeah.. Hellreaver looks nice, fits in with the character concept I've got anyway (Undead/Evil Outsider Killer | Holy Warrior | Half Crazy anyway)

Of course, our DM also fights fair. We often don't have time to sit and cast buff spells.

Though... can you jump while flying? Point being - you're charging a flying creature because you were hit with a fly spell.. can you activate the Leap Attack feat? This.. has actually had to happen several times - flying charges at flying enemies, both magically flying and natural.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

Ah, you have an artificer. He can not only cast any spell in the game, he can also apply a metric asston of metamagic to it by paying some gp. Very nice. I recommend looking for low level spells you like, buying a wand of it, and having the artificer use it on you. Or better yet, just get him to make it. He can even make them partially filled for a proportional reduction in price. It's in the DMG in the section about making characters past level 1, but ultimately, all crafting should be handled by the DM. A ring of minor spell storing is a pricey 18k, but with 3 true strikes in it, you can be laying the smack down. There's a bard spell in the SpC that gives a fighter a bonus fighter feat. Can't remember what it's called, though.

Artificers are so cool. A lot of bookkeeping, but really great. See if you can't get him to supply any of these items for half price. If down time is an issue for crafting, there's a homunculous that builds things for you- the dedicated wright. I had an artificer in a game with a couple of those guys in a portable hole. I had a machine shop in my pocket. :D

SecondTalon wrote:Though... can you jump while flying? Point being - you're charging a flying creature because you were hit with a fly spell.. can you activate the Leap Attack feat? This.. has actually had to happen several times - flying charges at flying enemies, both magically flying and natural.


This is a good question. I don't think there are any written rules directly relating to it, but once you get a long jump that goes for 50 feet, do you need fly? In seriousness though, I think it'd have to be something you worked out with your DM. If you are using air walk to get around with, that should let you jump, as it says "as if treading on solid ground" or something like that. Cleric 4, though. Common sense would dictate that you can't jump in the air, as there's nothing to jump off of. Charging from above onto your opponent, though, seems like a reasonable way to qualify for leap attack.

A fairly cheap way of getting healing is a wand of lesser repair. That's a 1st level spell, right? Should come out to 15 gp a charge, or roughly 3 gp/hp.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:59 pm UTC

Spuddly wrote:Ah, you have an artificer. He can not only cast any spell in the game, he can also apply a metric asston of metamagic to it by paying some gp. Very nice. I recommend looking for low level spells you like, buying a wand of it, and having the artificer use it on you. Or better yet, just get him to make it. He can even make them partially filled for a proportional reduction in price. It's in the DMG in the section about making characters past level 1, but ultimately, all crafting should be handled by the DM. A ring of minor spell storing is a pricey 18k, but with 3 true strikes in it, you can be laying the smack down. There's a bard spell in the SpC that gives a fighter a bonus fighter feat. Can't remember what it's called, though.

Artificers are so cool. A lot of bookkeeping, but really great. See if you can't get him to supply any of these items for half price. If down time is an issue for crafting, there's a homunculous that builds things for you- the dedicated wright. I had an artificer in a game with a couple of those guys in a portable hole. I had a machine shop in my pocket. :D
Heh. Where do you think we're getting and upgrading all of our nifty items from?

...last session was about three months of game. Of out of character bookkeeping, and then the Artificer saying "Okay, three months later, I'm done"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xeio » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:...last session was about three months of game. Of out of character bookkeeping, and then the Artificer saying "Okay, three months later, I'm done"
The only problem I have with stuff like this is for some reason crafting takes EXP in the default rule set. Or do you use a house rule to ignore that cost?

Incidentally, I'm thinking about DMing a game on OpenRPG (probably start in 2-3 weeks, after spring break), anyone interested (when/how often would be up in the air till the group forms)?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

Artificers, as part of their class, get some kinda crafting pool thing wherein they can use that instead of XP or it reduces the XP or something.

The DM also allows for, say if I wanted a nifty +3 Evil Outsider Bane Armblade, I could burn the XP in place of the creator. The XP still gets spent, only it's me doing it, not the poor sap making the thing.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:The DM also allows for, say if I wanted a nifty +3 Evil Outsider Bane Armblade, I could burn the XP in place of the creator. The XP still gets spent, only it's me doing it, not the poor sap making the thing.


This is a fairly commonly used house rule and I good one I find. I prefer 4th ed even more where it just takes time and gold to make an item. Creating items should always be at DM approval anyways so I don't see the need to reduce character power further with XP loss when making things. There's set wealth per level defined (even in 3.5) so as long as you don't go over that things should remain balanced (if you removed the XP cost you would need to increase the gold cost though since I believe its only half the market price at the moment).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:17 pm UTC

As long as you have someone in the party who can cast greater magic weapon/ magic vestment, you probably shouldn't pay for more than +1 on your equipment, and instead get special abilities. There's one from Expanded Psionics called Collision that gives a weapon +5 damage for a +2 bonus. If your party members are worried about spell slots, just get pearls of power. They're relatively cheap, given the speed at which enhancement bonuses increase in expense.


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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

We do put music on in the background. Since we usually game at my one friend's house, we listen to whatever he has up, which is usually some brand of house.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby thatguy » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:40 pm UTC

So mostly because of these, some of my friends and I are interested in playing D&D.
What kind of time and monetary investment are we looking at here? What do you need beyond the manuals and the dice?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:01 am UTC

thatguy wrote:So mostly because of these, some of my friends and I are interested in playing D&D.
What kind of time and monetary investment are we looking at here? What do you need beyond the manuals and the dice?


Time & a good imagination.
I also hear that tactical movement in 4e is bigger than in 3e, so a grid & miniatures would be helpful. This could be as simple as chess pieces and some checker boards put together. I recommend getting a grid that you can write on in washable marker; that's usually easiest and cheapest. You can draw terrain in as needed, and move your pieces around on that. Not totally necessary, but quite helpful.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:35 am UTC

Manuals and dice are the only required investments. (Well, not really on both counts - you can illegally obtain the manuals, and there are many dice-rolling programs around for free.)

A grid is really useful, especially if you're just starting out. I've played enough freeform, and my players trust me enough, to let me run a game purely in my head, but I'm still going to be running a map on the television this weekend (my friend uses it as his third monitor). If you're not that lucky, get a big sheet of paper, line it with 1" squares, and laminate it. Then use dry-erase markers for terrain and legomen for markers.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Klapaucius » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:38 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:Manuals and dice are the only required investments. (Well, not really on both counts - you can illegally obtain the manuals, and there are many dice-rolling programs around for free.)

A grid is really useful, especially if you're just starting out. I've played enough freeform, and my players trust me enough, to let me run a game purely in my head, but I'm still going to be running a map on the television this weekend (my friend uses it as his third monitor). If you're not that lucky, get a big sheet of paper, line it with 1" squares, and laminate it. Then use dry-erase markers for terrain and legomen for markers.
Also, you can get poster-sized paper with a one-square-inch grid at any office supply store.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby markkat » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:16 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:I have had many successful play-by-post games.

As SexyTalon wrote, the key insight is that successful PbP D&D is a different game entirely. You have to have a *heavy* focus on story, with minimal combat, because combat takes an enormous amount of real-world time to resolve.

That said, a good PbP game is motherfucking awesome. You can get *much* better roleplay, because everyone has time to really write their posts in character. In face-to-face it's difficult to play anything other than a slight variation on your real personality, but in PbP you can do *anything*.

When you do have combat, you need to streamline it a bit. I've had the most success with a team-based turn system, where all the players go, then all the monsters. Turn order is whoever posts first. This way you don't need to wait for the DM to post between each character, and you're not waiting (and getting bored) for the guy before you to take his turn before you can. To put it another way, standard combat produces a latency equal to the *sum* of each player's latency, while the system I just suggested produces a latency equal to the *maximum* single latency amongst all the players.

It's also best when the players can roll their own dice and see all the monster's relevant defenses, so they can tell the success of their actions while writing their post and narrate appropriately. You can either trust your players with dice, or use an online roller. This produces better narration (none of the "if I succeed, I'll do this, otherwise I'll do this"), and, once again, makes combat run faster.

I agree with all of Xanthir's suggestions. I was part of a very successful pbp D&D blog that ran for about two years. However, it was not exactly typical D&D. We had a HTML dice-roller and all. The remnants are here. Our group is running a pbp forum game right now that is going very well. However, I have to say I think the blog format worked a bit better.

It's an entirely different way to play, but it can be a hell of a lot of fun.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Terebrant » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

thatguy wrote:So mostly because of these, some of my friends and I are interested in playing D&D.
What kind of time and monetary investment are we looking at here? What do you need beyond the manuals and the dice?

More dice ?

I know it seems trivial but having multiple backups for all rolls you could have to make can speed up play significantly.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xeio » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Terebrant wrote:I know it seems trivial but having multiple backups for all rolls you could have to make can speed up play significantly. sets of dice is the equivalent to your seniority as a D&D nerd.
Fix'd for truth.

Also, it increases your dice bag damage (when all the dice are rolled; or when you throw your dice bag at someone).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Klapaucius » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:37 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Terebrant wrote:I know it seems trivial but having multiple backups for all rolls you could have to make can speed up play significantly. sets of dice is the equivalent to your seniority as a D&D nerd.
Fix'd for truth.

Also, it increases your dice bag damage (when all the dice are rolled; or when you throw your dice bag at someone).
Are we talking meta-D&D here?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

Terebrant wrote:
thatguy wrote:So mostly because of these, some of my friends and I are interested in playing D&D.
What kind of time and monetary investment are we looking at here? What do you need beyond the manuals and the dice?

More dice ?

I know it seems trivial but having multiple backups for all rolls you could have to make can speed up play significantly.


Duplicates of manuals, too.
And for speeding up play, writing stuff down on index cards that you use frequently helps, along with page number & source book. Like putting down common creatures you summon with summon monster or summon nature's ally, what a particular spell does, etc.

Not necessary, but makes things faster. Which saves on the biggest investment of all: time. Getting everyone together to play can be difficult, too. D&D often has to be made first priority for free time of a good gaming group, which is pretty dorky.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Terebrant » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:17 pm UTC

Spuddly wrote:Duplicates of manuals, too.
And for speeding up play, writing stuff down on index cards that you use frequently helps, along with page number & source book. Like putting down common creatures you summon with summon monster or summon nature's ally, what a particular spell does, etc.

Not necessary, but makes things faster. Which saves on the biggest investment of all: time. Getting everyone together to play can be difficult, too. D&D often has to be made first priority for free time of a good gaming group, which is pretty dorky.

Yes, power cards and a second PHB (or a photocopy of the relevant pages) for character creation will help a lot, particularly in making the players less reliant on the DM.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:27 pm UTC

That's why every single one of my players has a laptop, and a copy of my manuals.

Power cards are getting created tomorrow, for tomorrow night's session.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:40 am UTC

I just know I'm going to have immense fun with paranoia.
It's fun already, and I've only written one post.
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In paranoia, it's safe to assume that the GM is always smiling.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

So what other RPGs are xkcd-approved?

My main system is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, a terrific dark rules-light system in a great setting. Picture all the standard fantasy tropes kicked up to 11 and maliciously subverted.

Lately I've been getting more and more into Deadlands and Call of Cthulhu too.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:00 pm UTC

McCaber wrote:My main system is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, a terrific dark rules-light system in a great setting.

Did Warhammer get rewritten from scratch? I remember a nitty-gritty, "gain jobs which have effects X, Y and Z" system, the last time I played it (which was admittedly 10+ years ago).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:48 am UTC

Yakk wrote:
McCaber wrote:My main system is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, a terrific dark rules-light system in a great setting.

Did Warhammer get rewritten from scratch? I remember a nitty-gritty, "gain jobs which have effects X, Y and Z" system, the last time I played it (which was admittedly 10+ years ago).

Yeah, a new edition came out in like 2005. It was doing just fine until Games Workshop killed the company doing it and sold the license to a different one. Instead of classes it has a career system; basically a bundle of skills tied together with related stat gains and bonuses. Careers have set entrances and exits, and get broader as they increase in power. For instance, both Mercenary and Roadwarden advance into Sergeant, but those sarge's have different responsibilities depending on the entering career.

It's a lot of fun, and fast and easy.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

From what I understand the new 40k system is similar to the fantasy system. I have the new 40k RPG. Never played it, but it looks awesome.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:From what I understand the new 40k system is similar to the fantasy system. I have the new 40k RPG. Never played it, but it looks awesome.

It's close to it, but 40k has you customise the class to suit yourself. In fantasy the careers come pre-built.

Basically the Fantasy careers broaden as they rise, the 40k ones specify (de-generalize? awkward phrasing). So yeah.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby aireoth » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:26 pm UTC

Just a thought, having read through a few pages. Has anyone here thought of running an OpenRPG game, DnD or otherwise? If so PM me, as I would be highly interested.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:33 pm UTC

McCaber wrote:Yeah, a new edition came out in like 2005. It was doing just fine until Games Workshop killed the company doing it and sold the license to a different one.


It's still doing just fine. The same people write for it.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Physics_Geek3.14 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:12 pm UTC

I recently started DMing a game of DnD 4ed for three of my friends. I've never DMed before and none of my players had played any roleplaying games before. Because of this I decided to start with a simple adventure to ease the players into the system. I chose to run the Kobolds Hall adventure from the back of the DMG. For the most part the adventure went without a hitch, and my players decided to rest part way through the dungeon.
Now some more of my friends are interested in joining the game. However I'm unsure how to introduce this new group of three people to the adventure. Should they be some other adventuring party on the same quest that enter the dungeon and meet up, and join with the original group? Should we fudge it and say that the new people were there all along and just act as if the group always had six people? Or do you have any other ideas how to integrate the parties?
As well from a technical perspective, should the new players start with equal experience, or are they to be 400XP behind the rest of the group?
Any tips for a new DM would be appreciated.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:10 am UTC

For something like that... just throwing this idea out there (and, it's been my experience that gaming groups will suspend realism for a moment to let the new character in the group insofar as, despite not trusting a single person, creature, or even plant life up until now, they'll suddenly let this Hobgoblin Wizard in the group because "She seems nice" or whatever)... have the party come across the other two players who were also on the same, or similar enough quest (maybe it's to get the OTHER Shiny McGuffin or whatever that's the goal of this adventure) and the party should take it from there.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Physics_Geek3.14 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:34 am UTC

The goal is your standard "Monsters are raiding the town. Go to their lair and commit genocide upon the tribe" first level plot. I was thinking that the idea of the mayor sending two groups because one might be killed horribly would probably work the best.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:04 am UTC

Physics_Geek3.14 wrote:I recently started DMing a game of DnD 4ed for three of my friends. I've never DMed before and none of my players had played any roleplaying games before. Because of this I decided to start with a simple adventure to ease the players into the system. I chose to run the Kobolds Hall adventure from the back of the DMG. For the most part the adventure went without a hitch, and my players decided to rest part way through the dungeon.
Now some more of my friends are interested in joining the game. However I'm unsure how to introduce this new group of three people to the adventure. Should they be some other adventuring party on the same quest that enter the dungeon and meet up, and join with the original group? Should we fudge it and say that the new people were there all along and just act as if the group always had six people? Or do you have any other ideas how to integrate the parties?
As well from a technical perspective, should the new players start with equal experience, or are they to be 400XP behind the rest of the group?
Any tips for a new DM would be appreciated.

Start them with equal XP. It will make your life easier, and reduce bad feelings when half of the party levels up 'early'.

I had a similar situation, where a party member joined up halfway through. I had him tied up in the pit in the third room, where the kobolds were playing Skullskull with him. Depending on how far your party got through the dungeon, that might be a way to introduce the other 3.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby thatguy » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:37 am UTC

I did it.

I bought the 4th Ed. core books and some dice. Now to round up some like-minded friends.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby razor » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:05 am UTC

I've never actually experienced playing a tabletop RPG. I'm curious, are there any good tabletop RPGs out there other than D&D and Warhammer? Because those are the only two I ever hear about, and I'd honestly like to play something different than that. I don't mind magic in games but for the most part I'm not big on it. Is there any tabletop RPG out there that isn't focused on magic? (or doesn't have a heavy magical influence, at least?)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:22 pm UTC

Yeah.

The GURPS games cover an enormous range of games, from WW2 to magical dragons... it stands for Generic Universal Roleplay, so it's not quite as good at doing a specific game as one dedicated it, but it's pretty good. It has a reputation for complicatedness, but the most difficult part is character creation because it has a lot of options. The rest of the complexity can be done away with.

Dark Heresy is the Warhammer 40000 game, based on working for the Inquisition. There are psychic powers, but they're not so important and they're rare.

There are games based on some of the popular sci-fi shows, from BSG to Firefly. There's one or two Star Wars games out there.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Terebrant » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:20 pm UTC

razor wrote:I've never actually experienced playing a tabletop RPG. I'm curious, are there any good tabletop RPGs out there other than D&D and Warhammer? Because those are the only two I ever hear about, and I'd honestly like to play something different than that. I don't mind magic in games but for the most part I'm not big on it. Is there any tabletop RPG out there that isn't focused on magic? (or doesn't have a heavy magical influence, at least?)

There are others, and many that I would say are at least as good as D&D and Warhammer but we would need more information about what you would like to play. You might enjoy Cyberpunk v3.0 or older.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Natael » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Yeah.

The GURPS games cover an enormous range of games, from WW2 to magical dragons... it stands for Generic Universal Roleplay, so it's not quite as good at doing a specific game as one dedicated it, but it's pretty good. It has a reputation for complicatedness, but the most difficult part is character creation because it has a lot of options. The rest of the complexity can be done away with.


I'm going to have to disagree on some points. Character creation is not more difficult than incorporating all of the combat rules (but they are easy to implement from basic to highly complicated rules). GURPS also does some things better than many dedicated systems. For one, people call D&D high/epic fantasy, and I would definitely say that GURPS captures some very key parts of an epic/cinematic game better than D&D. I'd say that being able to fell a giant by specifically taking out its legs and then stab out the throat, or even climbing the giant, which are quite well detailed in the GURPS rules, are near impossible except for specific powers from specific classes in D&D.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

Super Giant: (Solo Pseudo-Monster)
The encounter consists of two Large feet/legs of the giant, and one Colossal Body above.

The legs may never be more than 5 squares apart from each other. If they are forced further than this, the remaining forced movement is divided by 3, and applied to both legs. The giant must make a saving throw with a penalty equal to the number of squares both legs are shifted or fall prone.

Forced movement on the Body is divided by 3, and applied to both legs as well.

... etc. Now the players can attack each part of the giant (or hamstring him) in order to bring the body into range... Or they could try climing the legs (with rules for that) to get directly at the body.

The goal of 4e is to provide a framework in which it is easier to build such encounters in such a way as they are balanced... not to build game physics in which the above is emergent.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Natael » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Super Giant: (Solo Pseudo-Monster)
The encounter consists of two Large feet/legs of the giant, and one Colossal Body above.

The legs may never be more than 5 squares apart from each other. If they are forced further than this, the remaining forced movement is divided by 3, and applied to both legs. The giant must make a saving throw with a penalty equal to the number of squares both legs are shifted or fall prone.

Forced movement on the Body is divided by 3, and applied to both legs as well.

... etc. Now the players can attack each part of the giant (or hamstring him) in order to bring the body into range... Or they could try climing the legs (with rules for that) to get directly at the body.

The goal of 4e is to provide a framework in which it is easier to build such encounters in such a way as they are balanced... not to build game physics in which the above is emergent.


The inherent flaw in that appears when you try to apply real world logic to artificially balanced combat. Yes, 4e is well balanced, but no, it does not reflect real world situations in a reasonable manor (or provide proper suspention of disbelief for the added physics of magic). Whereas GURPS take the real world and builds up rules that reasonably reflect it, providing balance through the cost of attributes and skills that you use to effect the world around you. This creates a more intuitive and less restrictive environment for role playing within. In your giant situation, you "break" the artificially balanced rules if the wizard climbs up the giant and pokes it in the eye, causing permenant blindness, well, if you actually had rules to reflect blinding someone through perfectly reasonable (a finger poke) means, rather than a fully arbitrary hit point system.

Another example that recently came up in my GURPS game, a player jumped onto a table and jump kicked a Minotaur in the face, causing the minotaur to lose time recovering (because getting kicked in the face hurts and causes that weird feeling in your nose). In D&D, getting kicked does minimal damage, and a kick is a kick, you can't make a tactical decision to kick vs. jump kick vs. punch, unarmed is unarmed. Plus, you can't target in the face with a normal attack to stun something, you have to use a specific (maybe one per-encounted) move, that only some classes have, to get the same effect. It removes cinematics from the game.

I am not trying to (though may have succeeded) at starting a system war. I am however intending to defend my favorite system from accusations at sacrificing genre success for versitility. GURPS is completely modular and very readily succeeds at representing most things all other systems try to reflect. I could see someone having to put a lot of work in reflecting, say the high detail that Ars Magica has in the ritual casting.

Dungeons and Dragons does a very good job of having a semblance of a social system tacked onto a war game, and it does very well what it intends to do. But is not very good at being a role playing game that can reflect real world logic in a functional manor.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

Read: Abstract Combat is Abstract!
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