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Author Topic: [D&D 3.0/3.5] Spells and swords - fight!  (Read 18425 times)
rafial
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2006, 01:41:40 PM »

Quote
The party-mentality has all kinds of interesting aspects to discuss some day.

An additional possible source of this tradition is your comment above about multiple characters per player being the norm in the old days.  That is certainly how I originally played, primarily because it would be me and and at most two other players.  So when a party to 6-8 characters are being controlled by only one or two players, there's really no motivation for featuring character squabbles.  After all, your chess pieces never squabbled.
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2006, 02:24:33 PM »

Hey Ron,

I was kinda sitting here and pondering your decision not to give the players the XP for Intimidating the guards into letting them keep their weapons & armor.  I mean; really?  None?  I mean, they succeeded at the Sense Motive roll, figured out that they were probably gonna need their weapons & armor right away, came up with the idea of using Intimidate to get their way, then succeeded at that roll. 

Soooo.... two successful skill rolls and a good idea which resulted in a drastic change in an impending situation that probably had a pretty severe impact on how the story turned out... and that's not worth a measely 150 XP each?  Because it was too easy?  Please imagine me sitting here in my hotel, holding my full belly while I laugh and declare; You suck, dude.  You totally suck.

-Eric
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2006, 02:29:00 PM »

H'm, that is sucky, isn't it? I did say I was going back-and-forth about it ... I'll make my final decision by the next session, but that is a pretty strong lobby there, Eric, and at the moment I find it convincing.

Best, Ron
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2006, 02:39:22 PM »

James . . .  I think it was the former [clothes-sundering heartbreak of Casey Jones, Master Railroader] you were posting about

Sorry, but no.  Maybe it was a miscommunication.  I raised three aspects of your play report in my initial post: Retconning, the Limbo of Unborn Coolness, and Nudging--because I hadn't seen them discussed before.  They're (obviously) truly screwed-up when used on a large scale, but on a tiny scale they probably happen from time to time in all groups, and are harmless.  Any phenomenon that's fairly common yet unremarked and potentially problematic is worth highlighting.

Regarding the Limbo of Unborn Coolness: as you point out, if something must happen regardless of player input, it's a sign that the whole story/adventure/whatever-it's-called was badly conceived.
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2006, 03:39:53 PM »

Regarding the "party up" thing, my most recent D&D experiences suggest that whatever its origins, it's now very much embraced as a feature by players. Hardcore G D&D is a combined-arms tactics exercise, and you party up because the tactical unit is the group, not the individual character. In my most recent 3.5 game, the group would quite fiercely quash any level of solo effort - all tactical decisions were very Xs and Os.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2006, 08:32:57 PM »

Hey Ron,

I was kinda sitting here and pondering your decision not to give the players the XP for Intimidating the guards into letting them keep their weapons & armor.  I mean; really?  None?  I mean, they succeeded at the Sense Motive roll, figured out that they were probably gonna need their weapons & armor right away, came up with the idea of using Intimidate to get their way, then succeeded at that roll. 

Soooo.... two successful skill rolls and a good idea which resulted in a drastic change in an impending situation that probably had a pretty severe impact on how the story turned out... and that's not worth a measely 150 XP each?  Because it was too easy?  Please imagine me sitting here in my hotel, holding my full belly while I laugh and declare; You suck, dude.  You totally suck.
My thoughts are that they didnt' take on a risk. A failure on the social rolls didn't mean any penalty. The only thing that could happen is that they profit, or what was going to happen, happens anyway. To put it in monetary terms; someone is going to take $500 from you. But if you roll a 10 on a ten sided dice, they don't take it from you. It'd difficult odds, but it's not a risk, because someone else is just going to take it from you. They chose to put your in that situation, you didn't. You didn't take on the risk.

However, if they had the opportunity not to be in that situation, but chose it anyway as their best bet, that's a different matter.

But since this isn't a gamist game, this probably doesn't apply. (And I'll be engaging any arguements to the contrary by PM, so as to not mess up this thread)
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Aaron
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2006, 08:47:51 PM »


I think the lack of stacking, particular when t comes to "Protection from..."spells, is good.  Allowing the protections to stack is only going to encourage more "neutral" characters against which only one of the protections won't work.  Or if you have real min maxers you end up with a bunch of true neutral characters in which case none of the protection work.  Been there, don't like it!


While I agree that missing the shield vs. magic missile probably made a significant impact on the encounter I don't know if the characters should be punished because you forgot!  It would have made the fight harder but they still may have pulled it off, you missing the shield protection just didn't give them the chance.
I'm also curious about the combat setup.  Eladd had four 5 minute duration spells cast on himself before the fight started, presumably before the characters even entered the room.  How long were the characters talking before the fight started?  Five minutes isnt very long and it would indicate that Eladd was really expecting to have to fight pretty much as soon as they appeared.  It sounds more like he tried to set up the situation, (organising to remove their weapons, having guards present) so that he wouldn't have to do any actual fighting himself.

Aaron

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Eric Provost
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2006, 10:39:15 PM »

Callan,

How do you know that the PCs weren't taking a risk by Intimidating the guards?  I mean, Ron didn't mention what he might or might not have done if the PCs failed in that roll, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't have used the failed intimidation attempt to have the guards mess with the PCs.  And even if Ron wouldn't actually have done anything on a failure, what about the perceptions of the players?  They might have assumed there was a risk when they decided to pull out that particular skill.  But all this is just crazy guessing, because neither of us were at that table.

Despite what it may or may not say in the rules, I stand by the idea that a scene that invloves successful skill rolls, player decision making, and has a significant impact on the outcome of the game both tactically and narratively, should include some player reward.  It was a challenge and the players did overcome that challenge.

-Eric
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2006, 11:37:29 PM »

Wait a second...  I was headed back to sleep when it occurred to me;  There totally was a risk.  The risk was the loss of the weapons and armor.  It doesn't matter that, in the game's fiction, the guards were just planning to take the stuff from the players.  What matters is that there was a chance that the characters would have their arms and a chance that they wouldn't.  And the players came away fully armed through decision making and good rolls.

-Eric

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TheTris
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Posts: 68


« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2006, 04:37:35 AM »

From what I can see of this, the players were "scripted" to face this bad evil guy without arms and armour.

Through social combat, they managed to regain arms and armour during this encounter.

Then they faced the bad evil guy, and won.

Then, the xp calculations were all like "So they faced him, but they had arms and armour and stuff, so it isn't as impressive so they don't get the 50% extra I might have given them if they had been unarmed"

Something seems wrong there.  XP are part of the reward system, and the players have managed to reduce their potential reward through good decisions and winning rolls?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2006, 05:16:12 AM »

Listen up.

There are many venues on the internet for you to debate whether XP should be granted or not, in whatever situation, and I suggest you go there to do that.

For my case, I'm musing over the alternatives, in a minor way, because this is a trivial issue. A few XPs are not the fucking national debt, all right? All of you are way way too committed toward what these two guys are going to get for their session.

Typical D&D thread breakdown ... why? Because you all carry history that makes "what happens in D&D" in any session, played by anyone anywhere, a matter of self-threatening importance. I don't see this kind of reaction in threads about any other game. I'm putting my foot down about it here. This is about my D&D game, not the bugaboo sitting your heads, pulling the levers.

'Specially because I asked some pretty substantive questions in my first post that are being passed over. If you can't shake off whatever emotional grab-factor seized you at the very mention of "gee, 100 XPs or not?", and go back and actually understand the topic of this thread, then stop posting.

Best, Ron

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R. Jason Boss
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Posts: 41


« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2006, 05:48:36 AM »

Sounds like a great game so far, I've been following the threads with interest as I learn my way around this place.

The ongoing issue of social combat has been pretty useful for me to read as I'm still running D&D for my group more than anything else, by popular demand.  I'm trying to make more use of those skills in my current game, and at least one player (a ranger/sorcerer) is making a concerted effort to keep her Diplomacy et. al. up and ping skill synergies when her point distribution allows. 

Do you plan on having the negative impression left on the feral girl by the hyena-wounding party member carry over, or is that "debt" cleared by this later bloodletting?  Since the party noticed her it should be a fun, tense meet and greet for them.

Anyhow, this session and post were more about the battle.  I know you mentioned looking things up bogged you down a bit, but otherwise how did the pace of the fight go in terms of real time?  Was the play pretty straightfoward in terms of decisionmaking and executing mechanics or did the players want to add a lot of color to their fighting?

Curious and interested,
Jason
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2006, 05:51:02 AM »

Regarding your question about morale: as far as I can tell from skimming the index, it's not part of the game any longer.  (Lord knows, back in the day we never used it.)  And it might be one of those situations where fiat makes more sense than mechanics.  Running away when you're down to 1/3 or 1/2 (HP Max) seems pretty reasonable to me, unless the adversary values the goal more than its own life.
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R. Jason Boss
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Posts: 41


« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2006, 06:07:26 AM »

Yeah, I missed that bit.  Near as I can tell it's fiat.  Some of the newer WotC modules for D&D include text like, "When so-and-so reaches 20 hit points, he attempts to retreat to the next room, quaff his invisibility potion, and escape," or what have you.

Jason
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Storn
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Posts: 228


« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2006, 07:57:41 AM »

Quote
All of you are way way too committed toward what these two guys are going to get for their session.

Typical D&D thread breakdown ... why? Because you all carry history that makes "what happens in D&D" in any session, played by anyone anywhere, a matter of self-threatening importance. I don't see this kind of reaction in threads about any other game. I'm putting my foot down about it here. This is about my D&D game, not the bugaboo sitting your heads, pulling the levers.

I've been reading this thread with great interest, but held off writing a reply... cause, amazingly.... I had nothing to say.

But now I do. 

Ron, from what i've interperted posts about the XP thing is not a History & Baggage thang of our oddly shared D&D experience... but point out to you on this very specific Actual Play example.  Of course, History & Baggage is going to seep into folk's counterpoints... it just happens here that it is about the XP of the guards or not.  They are using their Play as a basis to support their counterpoints.... It cannot help but happen.

And yes, it is about D&D.... what does that tell us about System Mattering?  That XP rewards of D&D are both super stratified and yet so loose to be almost useless.  If you kill it, it makes sense.  If you compromise with it... XP has a vague set of guidelines.

Not that you are wrong in your intention.  This can get contentious and out of hand. 

But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.  It is a very valid question to ask this; "If the players supernavigate around the guards, who MAY be ordered by their ensorcelled leader, to protect the Manipulative Mage... is that worth d20 XP or not?" IN YOUR GAME!.  To me, that is a reasonable question to put forth.  In any catagory, Gamist, Narrativist or Simulationist... I think I can make a case that it IS worth the Xp and a case that it ISNT in each rough camp.

However, I totally back you on this point.  GMing is an art.  Not a science.  You gotta make the call on the spot.  The game is happening at the table in real time.  And if you said, 450 xp for the defeating the manipulative Mage and that's it.  That's it.  Show must go on.  You are absolutely justified in the "ain't the national debt!" comment, imo.

My actual play experience with d20?  I threw up my hands in the air and fell back on Hero.  I gave out 1000xp every episode regardless of what had gone on in the episode.  This is simply a suggestion on how I solve my problem, not a "self-important" decleration <g>!

Great threads, btw.  Really enjoying them.  I wish I was as smart and feeling at 12 and could have saved the life of a villain and driven story in that fashion.  Humbled, I am.
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