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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)
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What ROLE-PLAYING have you been doing?
We had both Maestro D' and vault guy in our game. Those 2 limited edition playbooks seem balanced with the rest of the group.
We had to cut the evening a little short (yet we ended up with almost two hours to bullshit afterwards...), so the PCs only made it to the end of the first chapter where they escape the Space Pirate raided starliner, the Serena Dawn, via escape pods. They ended up losing all of their equipment, but have acquired a few items from downed pirates on their way to the pods. Oh, the party is made up of two humans (explosives expert and technician) and a dralasite (martial artist).
The system is _really_ easy. Simply percentile based. The biggest thing I took from it is damn role-playing is fun! It's been a while, so I guess I had forgotten, but I expect to start doing more of it again. The whole table was a lot more lively than when we boardgame and pour over strategies. I dunno the whole affair seemed more loose and 'fun'.
Looking forward to next session in two weeks when the party actually crashes and has to make do with items in the escape pod.
Also, I just ordered the DCC rulebook. Damn, does it look good:
- starting with zero-level characters is hilarious. I had a scribe, a radish farmer, a dwarven ratcatcher, and a gravedigger. All armed with really menial weapons. It gets a little gamey because you are trying to figure out who will be your sacrificial lamb to try and get your viable characters to first level. This was the good kind of gamey though, not the bad kind.
- randomness is fun! And DCC has so much randomness. There's 3d6 in order for your characters. In fact everything about your character is random except for name and alignment. There's critical hit and fumble tables. The critical hit tables have different versions based on class, level, and monster type. The die you roll on the fumble tables depends on what armor you're wearing -- unarmored is 1d4, leather is 1d6, etc.
- the first adventure is going to be a bloodbath. We had five players, each with four PCs. At the end of the adventure there were 8 PCs.
- it has a cool swords and sorcery feel instead of the high fantasy, everyone is awesome all the time feel of later DnD. There was one "monster" in the adventure, and the rest of the foes were human bandits. But it was still tense because one hit could kill your character. When the supernatural monster revealed itself, it was all the more freaky because it was unusual and weird.
Jeff White wrote: Ran Star Frontiers last night. We're starting the introductory Volturnus Campaign, so last night was SF0 - Crash on Volturnus.
I have thought of having my game group run through those modules as well. I recently took out my old Star Frontiers stuff. Looks like a lot of fun but damn, the maps that came in the box...ugly with a capital "Ugh".
I have been running a 3.0 campaign for sometime set in the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting by Kenzer. They have a trilogy of modules revolving around destroying a magical "Coin of Power". I was finding that the modules really weren't holding up very well with a lot of "railroading" necessary to keep players on track and some less than logical encounters that didn't make a whole lot of sense.
So I pretty much ejected the third module of the series and substituted the adventure The Grey Citadel by Necromancer games. I really like it. It is well crafted and has something for everybody. Urban intrigue, dungeon delving, and some wilderness stuff if you want it.
Next week we are trying the new D&D play test stuff.
Anyway, he killed the Cthulhu campaign with crushing boredom. His homebrew adventure had some neat ideas, but there were too many red herrings, and he let us waste entire sessions methodically running down those red herrings. At one point, he had to just step in and re-start the story, because otherwise the logical outcome would have left us spending WWII in a concentration camp. There were a few highlights here and there, but I was typically only enjoying about 10 minutes out of each afternoon of game.
I will be running the next campaign, which will be a D&D 3.5 campaign set in Ptolus. I've seen a lot of decent campaign settings before, and this is probably the very best. Better than Arkham Unveiled. Better than the City of Lies. Way better than any of the By Night books from White Wolf.
Although I played in a 3.5 campaign years ago, I haven't run D&D in a long time. I bought Ptolus and the 3.5 core books a couple of years ago, and have been studying them intermittently. And I played the heck out of that Temple of Elemental Evil 3.5 PC game years ago.
But I really want to run this campaign smoothly, without long pauses for rules searches. I made an initiative tracking sheet, combat modifier flash cards, and am working on a homemade ref screen that will feature the rules that I have the most trouble remembering, like the overly complex undead turning rules for 3.5. I also have a cheatsheet showing all the combat actions by category, with the ones that provoke attacks of opportunity in red font. Instead of buying and painting 500+ miniatures, I bought 500 wooden nickels for $40, and will be slapping on DIY stickers depicting monsters and npcs on all of them. I figure that most of the encounters will be with either medium or large creatures, so 400 of the wooden nickels are 1" in diameter, while the other 100 are 2" in diameter.
While making their way through the shard grass field the PCs came a across a herd of rollers (think rhinos with rollers instead of horns) that were grazing around in the field. The party splits to surround the herd and try to get them to move in a northeastern direction (the direction the party wants to go) as the beasts would crush the shard grass for them reducing damage they've been taking.
Well, the dralasite decides to whoop and holler unfortunately causing a stampede in his direction. 15 rollers steam towards him with a potential 8 trampling him. He dodges 4 but gets clobbered by the other 4 for 207 points of damage (each do 8d10)! First time I've had a PC death at the table from a random encounter in a _long_ time. Lots of fun though as the player took it in good spirits and the table had some laughs. We downloaded an app for the 'Wilhelm Scream' and tap, tap, tapped away on the app as we rolled up all this damage. Pretty humorous. Anyway, love the lethality of these old TSR modules.
Also, we found out that one of the players in the group wrote some official 3.0 adventures for mongoose about 10 years ago and he's likely to run the next game. Sounds like 7th Seas. Never played it, but looks interesting...I'll be looking for a book I suppose in the next few months. Anyone play 7th Seas?
We had a party of 8 people. It was awesome. IN the first 20 minutes of the game the Paladin burst in on a party of 22 hill giants, 6 stone giants, a few storm and frost giants....and a party of 8.
All I am thinking is Bwahahahaha! TPK.
Then the wizard said, check out this 1e 9th level fireball. GIANT BBQ! Hehe. damn.
And BTW. JEFF WHITE FLAKED! JEFF!...you missed a good one.
I'm really pushing the "three pillars" and while that's not edition (or even ruleset) specific, the playtest makes it super easy to keep combat from dominating the evening.
Loter, what's the 'three pillars'? Is this a 5e thing?
Jeff White wrote: Chapel, 8 players at 9th level sounds like it could be a logistics nightmare, but apparently it was a great time. Sounds cool. You are doing this over the next few months as well, right?
It wasn't so bad. Most everyone kept very focused on the game, which was great. I told everyone that I would continue where we left off in the next 3 weeks or so. I'll send out a note. I know for sure that Susan and Ed Roz. kid, Kevin goes back to college, and for sure won't be there next session. I was pleasently surpised that 8 people even showed up.
I've ran 1e in the past, and it's all about what to leave out, than what to leave in to make the flow of the game work well. The 1e battle matrix in it's entirety is scary.
You should try an make it a time or two...if nothing else but to meet some of us northies.
But we can talk about it more when you game with my at the Austin Bash.
Jeff White wrote: Loter, what's the 'three pillars'? Is this a 5e thing?
Three pillars is a classic RPG design ideal - exploration, interaction & combat (sometimes referred to as conflict). Theoretically, great RPGs allow and encourage all three by design. Of course different groups may prefer to go heavy or light with any of them, but they define the core role playing experience.
So for example, while in D&D 4e you could still rock a strong three pillars, the rules really pushed for a much heavier emphasis on combat and the game suffered for it and was especially polarizing. A bunch of classic AD&D mods really set the bar on this.
Not sure where the concept of three pillars originated specifically though.
5e does a really great job of bringing back that classic AD&D feel of being a in real world, not just a series of combat encounters, by de-emphisiszing combat and allowing for a lot more fluidity in resolving conflict. Of course it still all depends on what the DM is doing and running though.
Matt has much more experience with the D & D Next stuff but my group did run the 1st set of play test stuff and the combat was way simpler and from my perspective as a DM, much more fun. We still used the play mat for combat but I could see the old "mapless" combat being much more viable.
AD&D - occasionally used a mat/minis for big or complicated combat or just cause it was fun.
2e - same as above
3x - almost always used mat/minis, only didn't if it was some really bullshit encounter
4e - always always used mat/minis
5e/Next - haven't used minis yet and I've run quite a bit of it. I did draw an encounter once on the back of a scrap paper to explain the basic set up and I have plans to occasionally pull out a bunch of stuff for set piece combat events, though I'm also planning to keep it gridless even then
I do love minis and cool shit on the table, but so far with Next it's just been so nice to be able to get through SO MUCH MORE stuff in a session thanks to not having to draw everything out. There so far isn't really anything that demands the precision level of a grid to be worth it.
Also, Jeff Repo, 3.0 really? What's the beef with 3.5?