Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:31 pm UTC

*whines* I want to read geist! :(
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:46 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Man, changeling game. Yes.

On another note, I just got to the manifestations chapter in Geist.

Holy *FUCK* Sin-Eater powers are weird. I didn't think it was possible to make a power setup more weird and interesting and complicated than sphere magic, but Dr Tran bites the bullet and he does it Geist manages it somehow.

I can't decide if I like it yet.

I have decided. I DO like it, I just have new game rage that I can't take every manifestation to 5 with a beginning character! GRR!
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm most of the way through boneyard now and already deciding I like this a lot.

And not just because they remind me of what would happen if Wraith Arcanoi and Awakened Sphere Magic had sex.

Okay, actually, it's entirely because of that thing I said.

Edit: And man, there's a damn good reason you can't take everything to five. A sin-eater with a decent amount of boneyard can sense and target any of their other manifestations at *anything in the radius of their boneyard*. If you've got 5 dots, that's an area measured in *miles*. That means you can punch them to death and even if they know where in the area you are (and if they do, you probably aren't trying hard enough), they might have to take two buses, a train, and a ferry to punch you back.

If you have even one or two other manifestations at decent levels, that's ridiculous. You're not even a character to be fought at that point, you're a fucking hostile environment. I'm six miles away and you're striking me with lightning once a turn or pelting me with goddamn toasters or having me eaten by angry bears. What the hell. If you had all of them at 5, you'd basically be a ten-mile-wide bubble of fucking omnipotence. Fighting you would be like trying to have a fist-fight with the ocean (tear-stained key). Or a duel with an entire city (industrial key). Hell, with the passion key, you could even make that self-sustaining by feeding off the emotions of people in your boneyard for plasm, and cycling it back into more powers. That's just totally insane
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby d0nk3y_k0n9 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:46 pm UTC

Belial wrote:\That's just totally insane


And f*cking awesome.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:32 pm UTC

Man, yes, also that.

Holy fuck, even standing outside the range of the boneyard wouldn't save you from that character. They could just use Marionette on an animal, person, ghost, or machine inside the boneyard and just....pilot it out to go find you. So you're standing outside this miles-wide bubble of "don't step across the line or I'll fucking murder you", trying to figure out what to do, and all of a sudden a stray dog on the other side of the line perks up and runs for your crotch.

Bad. Scene.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

Then again omnipotent becomes a relative term when you're playing with the Fae or Ochemata.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

Not familiar with the Ochemata, but assuming you mean the True Fae and not the Changelings, yeah, that's basically true. They're like tiny gods.

Edit: Man, even more ridiculous: Using Oracle 5 with the Industrial Key, you could *call tokyo long distance*, and then drop a boneyard on the area *through the phone*.

Granted, at that point, your omnipotence could be halted by pressing the "end call" button, but still.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby d0nk3y_k0n9 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Granted, at that point, your omnipotence could be halted by pressing the "end call" button, but still.


Well yes, but you'd be more than capable of preventing most people (or other beings) from succeeding in hanging up on you.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

Hahah. Presumably, you could use your new Industrial-keyed and souped-up-by-activation-successes-on-the-oracle-roll boneyard to telekinetically play keep-away with the phone, if it came down to that. Especially if you bit the bullet and soaked up the difficulty penalty to center it on a cell phone.

Edit: Oh gods...finally out of the powers chapter...it's safe now...
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:20 am UTC

Actually, if you have Elemental Oracle you don't really need to call anywhere. You can just be there in a matter of seconds.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:30 am UTC

Belial wrote:Yeah, I'm most of the way through boneyard now and already deciding I like this a lot.

And not just because they remind me of what would happen if Wraith Arcanoi and Awakened Sphere Magic had sex.

I am intruiged and wish to know more. I didn't think it was possible to do more insane shit than you could with 5 dot Mage spheres like Time and Fate, but the examples you're giving are sounding pretty crazy. If it's all that crazy it would almost motivate me to get back into the local nWoD vampire focused game just to mess with people. Almost.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:50 am UTC

I'm not sure it's actually more powerful than sphere magic, and definitely not more flexible, but it's definitely weirder. And yeah, some of the boneyard effects are kindof absurd, even moreso when you start combining them with other things.

If I were a storyteller, and I wanted to keep my vampire game on the rails, I wouldn't let an antagonistic sin-eater PC anywhere *near* the game. Sin-eaters are like kryptonite to vampires. Vampires are capable of doing sweet merry fuck-all about ghosts (with the exception of the rare few with necromancy powers), and tend to have a few angry ones following them around. That's like begging for punishment. The SE wouldn't even have to fight most vampires. Just give the angry ghosts a few toys and perks, and set them loose.

Vampire suddenly finds himself rather inexplicably sleeping on the roof one morning.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:58 am UTC

Aye, it sounds like what you're essentially getting is a lot of the Mage's supernatural power with the added bonus of not being nearly as squish vulnerable.

Frankly I think having a good vampire kryptonite back in WoD is a good thing since Werewolves were metaphorically declawed.

Yea, by the sounds of it I wouldn't let me near the vampires either, which is a shame, because throwing toasters at some celerity/potency/claws bruha with impunity would be totally awesome.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:06 am UTC

Oh you're still Squishable, it's just that unless the Squish is particularly nasty, you'll come back in a couple of days.

So I guess if you combine a Mage's arcane Oomph with a Ghost's spookiness and made them a little less survivable than Vampires, you'd get something akin t a Sin-Eater.

Although they are not immortal, for some reason, Geists give up on you when you reach Old Age.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:24 am UTC

I'd imagine that's just a balance thing in the vanilla text, since none of the other splats get immortality easily or without drawbacks.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:Oh you're still Squishable, it's just that unless the Squish is particularly nasty, you'll come back in a couple of days.


Well, 4 times.

At time number 5, you're a terrible zombie with no soul.

I'd argue the "less survivable than vampires" bit, though. Between the Shroud manifestation (so much armor), and the ability to spend plasm reflexively to negate damage before it happens, they're durable little fuckers.

I think their big limiting factor is just how fucking annoyingly difficult it is to refresh your plasm pool.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

Explain, for the uninitiated? Harder or less hard than getting Mana back without a *edit* Hallow (Thanks Bigglesworth)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:13 pm UTC

Hallow.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:07 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:Explain, for the uninitiated? Harder or less hard than getting Mana back without a *edit* Hallow (Thanks Bigglesworth)


Never got that far in mage, let me check.

Umm, easier in some ways, harder in others. They have multiple routes (actions that fulfill both their archetype and their virtue or vice at the same time, actions that resonate with their cause of death *and* cause either damage or synergy degeneration, eating ghosts, resolving a ghost's anchors and allowing them to pass on) but none of them are as easy or reliable as just scouring your pattern. And the payoff is lower. Also, a mage that has access to a Hallow can get *mad* mana, while a Sin-Eater with access to a Haunt only gets a few points of plasm per week.

So basically, Sin-Eaters have a bunch of ways to get plasm, but they're all vaguely difficult and up to storyteller fiat, and they tend to yield only a point at a time.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:25 am UTC

Without derailing too much discussion from a system I haven't played, I'm proud to say that after four sessions, my bard has died twice now. (Both times have mostly been the DMs' fault, however.)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:54 am UTC

Interesting. I have to say this system is pretty nifty. I can see why you're so interested in it.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:00 am UTC

The Geist system? or the Killing Bards system?
Both are nifty, for different reasons.


For some reason I missed the "5th time makes you a ZOMBIE" rule... *Shrug*
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:41 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:For some reason I missed the "5th time makes you a ZOMBIE" rule... *Shrug*


Basically, every time you resurrect it:

A) Kills a random person, and you have to watch their death through their eyes when you wake up
B) Reduces your synergy by one
C) Reduces your maximum possible synergy by 2.

When your maximum possible synergy reaches zero (so 5 resurrects), your soul is in such complete tatters that you're basically a soulless murder machine. So either you go nuts and kill everything in sight until someone puts you down, or, if you keep enough of your mind, you become a serial killer. Either way, you're not playable.

Most geists will just let you stay dead instead of doing that, though, because it doesn't usually serve their goals.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:08 am UTC

Synergy being the "morality" meter for Geist I assume. What in game effects does it have? Anything fun like the mega-paradox you could get at especially low Wisdom scores?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:37 am UTC

It's basically how well you get on with your geist. Having high synergy gives you bonuses to opening gates to the underworld, social rolls with underworld denizens, ceremonies, and underworld navigation. Low synergy causes symmetrical penalties to same. Basically, the underworld fucking *sucks* if you don't have your crazy ghost buddy's full cooperation and guidance.

In the case of resurrects, the synergy loss is more of a side effect and a symptom of the fact that your soul is wearing thin.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:16 pm UTC

Florence + The Machine wrote:
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Wraps itself around my tongue as it softly speaks,
Then it walks, then it walks with my legs,
To fall, to fall, to fall at your feet.


Geist, to me.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

Belial wrote:It's basically how well you get on with your geist. Having high synergy gives you bonuses to opening gates to the underworld, social rolls with underworld denizens, ceremonies, and underworld navigation. Low synergy causes symmetrical penalties to same. Basically, the underworld fucking *sucks* if you don't have your crazy ghost buddy's full cooperation and guidance.

In the case of resurrects, the synergy loss is more of a side effect and a symptom of the fact that your soul is wearing thin.

So, useful, but not terribly interesting. Well I suppose that's good motivation to keep your synergy up and, y'know, not die too much.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

Well, Geist finally inspired me to buy a White Wolf game. And I love it. It's just so ... different than your stereotypical World of Darkness experience. Getting a badass krewe together and having a blast out of life and death. It's awesome.

Also amazing, is the new edition of Paranoia.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:15 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:
Belial wrote:It's basically how well you get on with your geist. Having high synergy gives you bonuses to opening gates to the underworld, social rolls with underworld denizens, ceremonies, and underworld navigation. Low synergy causes symmetrical penalties to same. Basically, the underworld fucking *sucks* if you don't have your crazy ghost buddy's full cooperation and guidance.

In the case of resurrects, the synergy loss is more of a side effect and a symptom of the fact that your soul is wearing thin.

So, useful, but not terribly interesting. Well I suppose that's good motivation to keep your synergy up and, y'know, not die too much.

Oh, also, Geists Hate it if you do any of those things. They're mostly Syn 8-10 sins, but they still don't like it.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:21 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:
The Utilitarian wrote:
Belial wrote:It's basically how well you get on with your geist. Having high synergy gives you bonuses to opening gates to the underworld, social rolls with underworld denizens, ceremonies, and underworld navigation. Low synergy causes symmetrical penalties to same. Basically, the underworld fucking *sucks* if you don't have your crazy ghost buddy's full cooperation and guidance.

In the case of resurrects, the synergy loss is more of a side effect and a symptom of the fact that your soul is wearing thin.

So, useful, but not terribly interesting. Well I suppose that's good motivation to keep your synergy up and, y'know, not die too much.

Oh, also, Geists Hate it if you do any of those things. They're mostly Syn 8-10 sins, but they still don't like it.

That's nothing new though, Wisdom 9-10 mages are virtually unable to use magic at all without dropping in Wisdom. I guess that's the price you pay for being Jesus though.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:50 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:
The Utilitarian wrote:
Belial wrote:It's basically how well you get on with your geist. Having high synergy gives you bonuses to opening gates to the underworld, social rolls with underworld denizens, ceremonies, and underworld navigation. Low synergy causes symmetrical penalties to same. Basically, the underworld fucking *sucks* if you don't have your crazy ghost buddy's full cooperation and guidance.

In the case of resurrects, the synergy loss is more of a side effect and a symptom of the fact that your soul is wearing thin.

So, useful, but not terribly interesting. Well I suppose that's good motivation to keep your synergy up and, y'know, not die too much.

Oh, also, Geists Hate it if you do any of those things. They're mostly Syn 8-10 sins, but they still don't like it.


Basically. It's kindof like "Yeah. I'll do this for you, because I like you a lot and I owe you, but seriously, fuck you for asking"

Oh, also, apparently the exception to the "5 resurrects" rule is that the founders of tier-three (global conspiracy level) krewes can buy "revenance" which reduces the synergy penalty to one (thus giving them ten resurrects) and stops them aging.

Of course, there are no tier-three krewes anymore (as far as anyone knows), but considering that founders retain benefits from higher tiers even if their krewe shrinks, and founders with revenance are nearly immortal, there could easily be some sin-eaters with this ability still kicking around.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

Would certainly be a nasty suprise for anyone fighting one of these founding sin eaters. Finally kill him the fifth time, and you're all "NOW he's dead for good!" only to find that he's just midly inconvinenced at Synergy5.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Random832 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:13 am UTC

does it say something about me that when I saw the tie in the xkcd store, I knew off the top of my head that a wrong-slot +5 charisma item should cost 37500 gp?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby curuinor » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

I believe that the MIC revised this directive for 3.5 to say that wrong-slot items cost the same.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:49 am UTC

curuinor wrote:I believe that the MIC revised this directive for 3.5 to say that wrong-slot items cost the same.

Man the MIC was easily the worst formatted compendium in the history of books. Whoever's idea it was that the "Ring of Asskicking" and "Asskicker's Ring" would be filed under R and A respectively was a moron. Standardization anyone? (or at least catagorization by item type)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby thicknavyrain » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

A friend of mine bought an Edition 4 set and a starters guide. I also bought a shiny purple D20...just for the hell of it. Before we set up a proper game with a party of more than 2, we tried it out today just the two of us with him playing one of the PCs and the DM as practice. It was fun except without a cleric we got our arses kicked pretty badly...

We had a Paladin but he didn't heal very much, aheh.

Still it was pretty fun and once we try out the adventure properly...it should be awesome.

Also, holy FUCK translucent purple 20 sided dice are fucking awesome. I would play ANY game with one of those...
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:56 pm UTC

So, I'm thinking of starting up a game. I'm aiming for it to be a big sandboxy, if I have the guts for it.

The players are refugees from the Second Primordial War, whose ancestors hid in a Sanctuary. And now their water elemental is sick; so the PCs are being sent out into the world to get help. They have a map to another nearby Sanctuary... but it won't do them much good.

The Second Primordial War tore the world apart. Literally. Islands and Continents float in an ocean of air, Storms wander through the ocean and dump rain on the continents, which flows down to the edges and off in great waterfalls; which then, in the domain of air, turn back into clouds and storms.

"Gravity" is due to the influence of the Domain of Earth; so once you are off an Island/Continent, you don't fall, you just float. Water, as it happens, partially shields this influence, as does being near the edge of the Domain; air ships land on ports located on water bodies near the coast, and fly between islands and continents.

It is possible to land deep inside a continent through careful piloting and aiming for a large body of water; but taking off isn't practical. Doing so in large ships is less practical than in small ships. Attempting to land without a body of water to shield you from the draw of earth is suicide.

The PCs characteristics will determine how the Sanctuary 'works' (if they are arcane-heavy, primal-heavy, divine-heavy, it determines what kind of mojo-fuel powers the Sanctuary), but I'm thinking that the Sanctuary has at least one divine relic (which will be how Divine power characters will be fueled). And the hungry spiritual powers of the cracked planet would love to feast on uncorrupted and preserved divine relics... PCs can ignore their Sanctuary, use it as the basis for an Empire, keep it secret and safe, or anything else.

Oh, and naturally Dwarves with under-Continent kingdoms who skirmish with Dragons (who often nest down there), air-ports that extend over the coast in order to have a port that isn't based on water, dykes that hold a body of water near the coast to provide a top-notch port, oceans that waterfall off the coast of a continent (who says water conserves volume!), over which ships launch themselves into the air...
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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

Postby mickafen » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:22 am UTC

@Yakk:
That sounds made of 1 part awesome to 2 parts win. Are you still worldbuilding, or have you run any sessions yet?

I'm trying to get a sandbox, low-GM-intervention game going with some friends at the minute. I'm not comfortable enough with 4e mechanics yet to try anything quite as cool and elaborate as your setting, but I do have what I think is a good basic concept: GTA D&D.
It's not all fleshed out yet, but the plan is to have several competing factions in a port city who all are looking for more enforcers/assassins/patsies/magical drug mules [delete as applicable]. I'm going to set up the various gangs, strew quest hooks lberally across the map, and then set the PCs loose. Not literally, as the first session is going to begin with them in jail.

Mark my words, it'll all be in ruins within two sessions...

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:10 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:The players are refugees from the Second Primordial War, whose ancestors hid in a Sanctuary. And now their water elemental is sick; so the PCs are being sent out into the world to get help. They have a map to another nearby Sanctuary... but it won't do them much good.
This sounds familiar... :P

As for the actual setting, it sounds pretty amazing (you wouldn't happen to be doing this game online, would you? :P ). A couple of recommendations:

Town Portal was one of the best things about Diablo II. It, or something like it, are very useful for games with a headquarters, particularly one that can come under attack. It's no fun to have to stay in / right around town if you want it to be there when you get back, or to have the DM go "well, you guys went off to explore when the Forces of Darkness came by, so now your home is a mountain of ash." Doing it the way Fallout does it (if you tell people about your Sanctuary, you have 400 days until it gets attacked, otherwise 500) might work, but it seems more interesting to have it as a recurring thing; "oh no, the crystal in blinking; time to teleport back and fight off some raiders!"

While the traditional 'floating island' would work well for most islands, there might be some with a particularly strong Earth affinity (possibly large elementals?) that have a strong enough gravitational pull to have a gravity well- you can run all around them, a la Super Mario Galaxy, and the elemental eats ships that it sucks into itself (though there's probably a pirate crew orbiting it that loots crashed ships before they get swallowed up).


Sandbox games have a tendency to be worse than regular games unless the players give you some warning of what's coming up or you have a way to quickly and/or procedurally generate whatever you need. Coming up with twenty islands and then letting your players pick one means that 95% of your time is wasted- and coming up with one island but giving your players the choice of one of twenty names to call it isn't really a sandbox game. Thankfully, 4e is incredibly modular such that you could have a procedural island generator fairly easily, or you can just have a setup where you have the time to prepare for a game before the game actually starts. The best solution is to decide what the party is going to do next session, then preparing in between sessions (but given the propensity for players to take unexpected turns, this can be problematic), but other things like deciding what to do, then ordering food while preparing or having something else for people to do while you prepare (a game or two of Race to the Galaxy should be more than enough time to do simple preparations if you have something to work off of) can work out well. While it doesn't work for some groups, having the DM take breaks to prepare can do a lot to increase the quality of the sessions (and, for a lot of groups, particularly ones used to humorous interruptions, won't detract too much from the quality).
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

mickafen wrote:Are you still worldbuilding, or have you run any sessions yet?

Worldbuilding. I need to get fully house-moved before I can actually start hosting. :)
Vaniver wrote:This sounds familiar... :P

*grin*, whatever do you mean?
Town Portal was one of the best things about Diablo II. It, or something like it, are very useful for games with a headquarters, particularly one that can come under attack.

In late Heroic/early Paragon, you can teleport to a teleportation circle in 4e using rituals. So they won't have to stay near the Sanctuary forever to keep in touch.
Doing it the way Fallout does it (if you tell people about your Sanctuary, you have 400 days until it gets attacked, otherwise 500) might work, but it seems more interesting to have it as a recurring thing; "oh no, the crystal in blinking; time to teleport back and fight off some raiders!"

Well, unlike a CRPG, they don't know how dangerous it is, because they haven't done it before; nor can they reload from save.

Having attacks on the Sanctuary happen too often makes it less sandboxy; but I suspect there will be one eventually. The more they open the existence of the Sanctuary up to the outside world, the more likely it becomes naturally.
Sandbox games have a tendency to be worse than regular games unless the players give you some warning of what's coming up or you have a way to quickly and/or procedurally generate whatever you need.

Well, at least for early Heroic, the PCs might actually be trying to follow the map.

I was thinking of doing a zone based system. All I need is a sessions worth of encounters in a given area, and some quick sketches of what is going on. And a boatload of plot hooks.

I do hold that choices that aren't informed are not choices; if I say there are 30 islands, and there is nothing to distinguish between them, then which island you choose doesn't matter. On the other hand, if the islands look different, or are in different areas, then the choice does matter.

So I was going to generate a quick sketch -- maybe even hex paper based (!) -- with areas, and in each area 2-4 sketched out encounters. Each area would also have a rough level. Maybe a system to describe how dangerous an area is relative to the PCs if they do their research. Some areas would have unexpectedly tough/easy encounters.

Next, throw out some plot hooks in each area. Many of them can devolve to an extended encounter from open grave/dungeon delve/etc, with some kind of MacGuffin attached.

I'll probably use my plot-based pacing idea; players regain daily powers and healing surges by gaining milestones, and you get milestones by moving towards a goal they set for themselves. Which means I'll request the party set goals, which makes my job easier! PCs who abandon goals part way through both make my job harder, and lose out on resource recovery...

I'll also shamelessly steal plots from Fallout games, just because. Speaking of which, I might have to play Fallout 3 for "research".
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.


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