Page 54 of 54

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:21 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
Yakk wrote:The Star Wars galaxy is supposed to have a bajillion systems.
True: part of the drama is that events happen on the highest scales; part of the romance is the existence of another exotic world, regardless of how many you've explored. However, if done poorly, it can result in people not caring about places.
Pop culture Stalin wrote:The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of a million is a statistic.
Darth's and Droids wrote: If you're going to have your bad guy do something despicably evil by destroying something huge, make it something that the PCs care about. Something they've fought for and made sacrifices to save.

Something they've actually heard of before.

-Regarding the destruction of Naboo, instead of Alderaan
Belkar Bitterleaf wrote:Well, I just figured we'd wonder around, kill some sentient creatures because they had green skin and fang and we don't, and then take their stuff.
People needs reasons to care about other people. In fiction, they generally won't put much effort into caring about people on geneal principle.

Blowing up Alderaan had a big impact in A New Hope because it hadn't been done before (at least in anything so mainstream). Blowing up <wherever> in The force Awakens didn't have much of an impact on me. The destruction of Jedha did have an impact, because the city existed (within the narrative) before it blew up.

Regarding your specific campaign, it's more bout how you do things, then what you do, but I'd encourage you (or anyone telling a story really) and why the audience/players care about places before things happen to them.

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:26 am UTC
by EdgarJPublius
A question I'm delighted to be able to ask:

What dinosaur(s) should a Lizardfolk Shaman summon to best harass a party of 8th level adventurers?
My first thought was to DM fiat the Shaman's 'Conjure Animals' spell a little and have them throw a basilisk at the party, but then I remembered that Dinosaurs totally exist in DnD and have statblocks and everything and decided a pack of velociraptors would be way cooler.

Anyway, the contenders:
1. An Allosaurus (from MM) Just a big dumb dinosaur to stomp around, look awesome for a round, then mostly likely die immediately.

2. A pack of Velociraptors (from Volo's Guide) I'd probably split them into 2-4 groups to effectively distract as many of the PCs as I can, but their stats are pretty weak and I'm not sure how effective a distraction they'll really be.

3. a flight of Pteranodons (from MM) Stats aren't much better than the Velociraptors, but having a fly speed and flyby to avoid melee attacks should boost their survivability and PC-annoyance-generation factors considerably. I think this is the option I'm really leaning towards, having a swarm of flying dinosaurs swooping around and nipping at the party seems like it'd be both awesome and really distracting, which is I think the best use I can get out of a 'Conjure Animals' in this situation.

4. A Quetzalcoatlus (from Volo's Guide), seems like maybe a decent compromise between the Allosaurus and Pteranodons, can do flybys and stay out of melee range, but can also do a decent amount of damage. Pteranodons might be a distraction, but they probably won't hit much and don't do much damage, the PCs might just ignore them, whereas the Quetzalcoatlus can actually harass effectively and make the PCs deal with it.

5. Homebrew a better Velociraptor, Boost the AC, HP and damage a bit, maybe balance by making 'em CR1/2 instead of 1/4, could call them Utahraptors instead of Velociraptors. (actually, now that I'm looking, 'Giant Poisonous Snake' in the MM has better stats than a Velociraptor and is still only CR1/4, is there some advantage of being Tiny vs. Medium that I'm overlooking which would account for this?)

6. Homebrew a CR2 swarm of Compy's, based on slightly twerked 'Swarm of Poisonous Snakes' from the MM

7. DM Fiat, summon whatever I want, A Tyranosaurus Rex, a swarm of otters and/or ducks, or anything else I can think of.

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:10 pm UTC
by Dauric
My thought: Under the assumption that the shaman is backed up by a tribe of other lizardfok: Summon the Pteranodons or Quetzalcoatlus, then have a bunch of the smaller lizardfolk with bows jump on just as they take to the skies. Cast a second time for velicoraptors for hit-and-run support for the Lizardfolk heavies.

Force the party to actually deal with enemy tactics, not just ablative numbers.

I always recommend my players have a ranged -and- a melee weapon, because I enjoy making the melee-only-barbarians regret their life choices with a few well placed archers.

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:06 pm UTC
by EdgarJPublius
Ooh, I love the idea of having the archers flying on the backs of Dinosaurs, that's gonna be awesome.

The idea is definitely to use the Dinos as skirmishers, to harass and distract the PCs and make it difficult for them to move freely or focus fire on any one target. Also to force the Wizard to make a bunch of Concentration checks to keep control of the demon he's definitely going to summon (the archers are gonna have poisoned arrows as well to further assist with that).

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:56 am UTC
by Xanthir
The more creatures you summon, the more effective they'll be, due to action economy. But the more annoying they'll be to run. Feel free to judge where you sit on that spectrum for yourself. (That said, velociraptors are great.)

But also: never forget that you can take any stat block you like and reflavor it into a dino, or anything else! Just find something at the CR you wanna hit (using the monsters-by-CR list in the back of the MM) which has an ability suite you like, and describe it as something else. Your players will never know!

(My favorite reflavoring so far was using a Barbed Devil's stats to represent goblins riding spider mechs, aiding a fire giant. Just swapped their "hurl flame" to be a web shot that created difficult terrain.)

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:27 am UTC
by EdgarJPublius
I think I'm gonna stick with the Pteranodons, I'll prepare some slightly upscaled Velociraptors/Utahraptors in case the Pteranodons go down too quickly, but I'll probably have the Shaman retreat to fight another day at that point.

Anyway, the party is about to enter a dungeon with more opportunities for Lizardfolk encounters where I can use the raptors but flying dinosaurs wouldn't be appropriate.

New delightful question: What should the Lizardfolk shaman shout when they summon the Pteranodons? Right now the best I've got is 'Ssssoar my Ssssweetssss'

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:52 pm UTC
by Dauric
"Sssaurians, Sssslay them!"

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:21 pm UTC
by Xanthir

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:00 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
EdgarJPublius wrote:is there some advantage of being Tiny vs. Medium that I'm overlooking which would account for this?
I'm not sure in all versions, but I think in 3.5e size modifiers would give you +2 to dodge, +2 to hit, and +2 hide checks.

5. Homebrew a better Velociraptor
Give them a level in rogue. Include lots of tall grass and thick bushes in the battle map. Have the clever girls ambush, retreat and repeat. Use the fact the most of them are out of sight to keep battle moving despite the larger number of units on the field.

Xanthir wrote:b09.png
Hmmm, if the technology doesn't work well, he is probably turning people into dinosaurs with cancer.