*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 01, 2014, 05:50:30 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 54 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: [D&D 3.0/3.5] Undead, real dead  (Read 9265 times)
Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2006, 05:59:37 AM »

Hi Judd,

You asked,

Quote
I just wanted to confirm something about those themes above.  They arrived through play, a surprise to you as much as to anyone else and were not premeditated.  Is that spot on?

That question borders on the psychological and metaphysical, which are of minimal and nil interest (respectively) to me.

Perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough but it interested me that the game began with a funeral authored by you that created the situation and ended with a funeral very much authored by the players, in that they brought the NPC's body back when they really didn't have to.

For some reason that interested me and I'm not sure what about it just that it did.
Logged

Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2006, 06:28:18 AM »

Quote
Clinton built the zombie hyena for me based on my description of what I needed, and I liked it. Who cares whether it "should" have +4 or +5 in something? It's his zombie hyena, not yours or the book's.

Oh.  I so agree.  Which is one of my bugaboos on how HARD it is to write and design RPGs to create space for groups to modify all they want... yet still retain some coherence within its own context.  I think we take designers and writers of these games for granted sometimes... thinking it is easy.  Ideas are easy.  Communicating them to a broad public is not for utilization.  But that is a thread for metaplot structures, textbook philosophies and such. 

But back on topic.  yeah.  It is NOT even Clinton's zombie hyena anymore... it is Ron's group's zombie hyena as soon as it hits the table.  How often have I added a power, skill or spell to an antagonist on the fly?  How often have I subtracted something similar because it wasn't needed or wasn't "in character" for the situation or just too powerful for the characters?

Quote
I've decided the internet isn't ready for alignment talk. I'll probably do an impromptu seminar over beer at GenCon, or something similar.

oh.  I'm. so. ready.
Logged

Joel P. Shempert
Member

Posts: 451


WWW
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2006, 07:30:08 AM »

I've decided the internet isn't ready for alignment talk.

Dang, I was looking forward to that.
Logged

Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.
Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2006, 08:00:27 AM »

Hey, Ron.

Just a bit about notation.

In D&D 3.0 and such, the damage reduction is notated as (reduction number) / (type of attack which penetrates reduction).  So 5 / slashing is penetrated by slashing weapons.  And 5 / magic is penetrated by anything magical.  And 5 / elf-wielded weapons is penetrated by elves.

I'd give them extra XP from the misunderstanding, but I'm one of these limp-wristed molly-coddling GMs.

I like hearing the stories from these games.  They sound fun, especially 'cause I can picture the people involved.  I'm slightly unclear on where you want feedback, so I'm mostly just chiming in on technical bits.  Hope that's okay.

yrs--
--Ben
Logged

Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2006, 09:32:57 AM »

In D&D 3.0 and such, the damage reduction is notated as (reduction number) / (type of attack which penetrates reduction). So 5 / slashing is penetrated by slashing weapons....

Now that is a truly confusing system of notation. Screw it. It was a sword-proof, trip-capable super-zombie-hyena. Your players should feel buff -- and lucky about that natural 20 on the turning attempt.
Logged

Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2006, 10:04:16 AM »

[Donning GNS hat, which doesn't quite fit me...]

It strikes me, though, that while Ron's "Vanilla Narrativist" group in this case probably doesn't mind, D&D's supposed to support some mix of Gamism and Simulationism -- and for both hardcore competitors and serious internally-consistent-world buffs, it's a real problem it's this easy for an experienced GM (e.g. Ron) to make mistakes (with the hyena's damage reduction vs. swords, with the mage's shield vs. magic missiles) about how tough a given adversary "really" is.
Logged

Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2006, 10:15:59 AM »

Hi Sydney,

Throughout it's existence, D&D has always relied upon trial and error on the part of the DM to develop enough experience with the system and the group to provide appropriate challenges.  There's so many stacked abilties in D20 that even the CR system can make it tough to gauge the encounter.  It's not unlike the level of expertise necessary in Magic the Gathering to tell which decks are generally strong and weak, and which are specifically stronger against certain others.

So, no surprise here.

Chris
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2006, 02:30:36 AM »

Hi Ron,

What questions do you have? Some people have thought your account was a question of whether you did everything by the book, for example. To keep a D&D thread on track (what with all it's cargo culting), what's on your mind?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2006, 05:14:28 AM »

At this point, it doesn't matter much, Callan. I'm beginning to think D&D threads are Rorschach blots. Even the posts which are agreeing with me or trying to, are off-base.

Best, Ron
Logged
Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2006, 05:45:23 AM »

At this point, it doesn't matter much, Callan. I'm beginning to think D&D threads are Rorschach blots. Even the posts which are agreeing with me or trying to, are off-base.

Best, Ron

Ron, can you summerize what would put it back on base?  Not only are we not mind readers... this is a clumsy format at times for understanding.  And in no way do I mean this in a snarky way.  I mean it in a geniune desire to help you get to where you want to go.

Or are you already there and just trying to get us all on the same page?

And maybe I'm not help at all.  I've ran d20 for a short 10 ep arc several years ago.  My recollections are hazy at best (and I drifted the heck outta the system).  This might be too narrow of a focus for me (d20 with kids) to be much help.
Logged

Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2006, 08:59:09 AM »

At this point, it doesn't matter much, Callan. I'm beginning to think D&D threads are Rorschach blots. Even the posts which are agreeing with me or trying to, are off-base.

Best, Ron
Could you extend your account by summarizing what questions you were asking the players during play? I don't mean actual verbal questions, I mean asking through the presentation of the game world and events and game world reactions. Which questions were prepped before play and which questions were prompted by the players answers (questions you wouldn't have thought to ask before that point)?

So far the ink blot encourages interpretation of what it's a picture of, when the questions may have been what colour is the ink.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
buzz
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2006, 04:24:58 PM »

Aaron and Tommi, you guys have weird notions about correct and incorrect. Clinton built the zombie hyena for me based on my description of what I needed, and I liked it. Who cares whether it "should" have +4 or +5 in something? It's his zombie hyena, not yours or the book's.

I think this difference in philosophy runs pretty deep. Let's say I want a young-ish copper dragon as an encounter in a later session. I go and build one from the book, and if he gets some spells, I pick a few, and so on. Then, looking him over, I say to myself, "H'm, he seems a little delicate." So I bump up his Armor Class by 1 and add a hit die. No rules exist for doing this, I just do it.

Was that "incorrect" as you guys see it? Is he now a "wrong" copper dragon? If so, then I recommend, at least for purposes of these threads, wrenching yourself out of that mind-set and looking around in the new place you find yourself.

I'm still sort of confused by this. I know I asked a similar question in the last D&D thread, and Chris gave me some help, but...

Aaron and Tommi were simply arguing from the point of view of the rules in the books; there's no way they could know that Clinton may have just "oomphed" the hyena a little bit. The rules have a system for statting these creatures out, so they assumed that was the basis.

I guess what I still don't get is how it's seemingly okay for you to kinda fudge skill rules, monster stats, and XP, yet there's these essays and posts here about Illusionism and Calvinball. Does this stuff not matter because you're drifting your D&D game towards Nar? Or because you have buy-in from the group that, "Yeah, things may get fuzzy at times."

I mean, do you act similarly when running a game of Sorcerer? Or DitV?

I'm not trying to be accusatory; I'm just befuddled.
Logged

A.k.a., Mark Delsing
Aaron
Member

Posts: 102


« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2006, 04:47:00 PM »

Hiya,

Aaron and Tommi, you guys have weird notions about correct and incorrect. Clinton built the zombie hyena for me based on my description of what I needed, and I liked it. Who cares whether it "should" have +4 or +5 in something? It's his zombie hyena, not yours or the book's.

I think this difference in philosophy runs pretty deep. Let's say I want a young-ish copper dragon as an encounter in a later session. I go and build one from the book, and if he gets some spells, I pick a few, and so on. Then, looking him over, I say to myself, "H'm, he seems a little delicate." So I bump up his Armor Class by 1 and add a hit die. No rules exist for doing this, I just do it.

Was that "incorrect" as you guys see it? Is he now a "wrong" copper dragon? If so, then I recommmend, at least for purposes of these threads, wrenching yourself out of that mind-set and looking around in the new place you find yourself.


Ron and Storn,

I was simply attempting to point out was the difference between a standard CR 1 zombie Hyena and your beastie.  At the time I thought the question was "how much experience for beating it".  
The crux of my point was
" I mentioning this so that a fair CR can be calculated.  Is +2 Damage, +1 Hp and Trip worth an extra point of Cr?  A CR 2 zombie is usually 6 HD.  The base creature doesnt matter much as the zombie doesn't get any of the extras."

If I gave the impression that I cared about whether you use the monsters as they are in the book, ownership of a created creature, or whether a creature is right or wrong, then my point was obviously not well made.  I was just talking CR and xp.
Logged
buzz
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2006, 06:31:50 PM »

I'm still sort of confused by this.

FYI, Chris was nice enough to school me (once again), so there's no need to respond, Ron. I guess I'm still re-training my brain; my main D&D group is very rules-rigorous.

Anyway... more! These threads have been great.
Logged

A.k.a., Mark Delsing
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2006, 08:16:33 PM »

Oh, geez.

Look.

Yes, the game is drifted, no question. But there are three sources of drift, and none of you are really flashing on them, and thus the discussion is all kerflooey.

1. Brace yourself: I don't really care about knowing and using all the rules of D&D 3.0 and 3.5. I picked up about as much as a human can on one solid read-through of the player's guide, and that's it. So I don't know jack about making up monsters, and I don't try - as I mentioned, Clinton made up the zombie hyena when I asked him too, and whether he followed the rules or pulled it entirely from his ass, I have no idea.

Does that mean I don't care about the rules and wing the whole thing? No. The rules I understood on that reading, and when I review, I follow. The spells have their listed ranges. The weapons do the listed damage. Levels cost the XPs they cost. And so on and on. When I figure out that I didn't get something, I change the way we do it to the way that's written there.

So one source of drift is simply the fact that I felt (and feel) no urge to worship at the altar of D&D, and to "do it right" as an act of such worship. I've never been sympathetic to the pious, pushy stink that rises from the conversations of those who consider themselves to have earned the rank of "real DM." Yet I do think I've made a good effort to understand a lot, and to apply that understanding.

Do you get that? It's not "ignore the rules in favor of what's fun." But neither is it the "obey and study the Torah," for criminy's sake. I get what I got, I play to the best of my undersanding, and I trust that further use and feedback will get me farther, within the limited context of this game (a few sessions, then done). I made no claims to being a D&D demigod from the outset. Remember, the effort you put into D&D 3.0, I put into Champions. I've done my time when it comes to honing my pompous expertise regarding recondite game texts, and once was enough.

2. Here's the other thing: plain mistakes. The Shield spell was the best example. It's something I should have remembered, but hey, I didn't, and that's how it worked out. The zombie hyena was not such a mistake - do you see the difference? When I saw "damage reduction" and looked it up, I wanted this monster to take less damage from swords. That's what happened.

But the Shield spell was simply a mistake, and you know what? Such a mistake isn't apostasy. It's not a sin. You guys get really, really hung up about this. I'd rather make no such mistakes, but as I mentioned earlier, we aren't discussing the national debt. A certain percent of such mistakes, with a rules-set of this complexity, is expected. I like learning about them through feedback because it helps me understand the game better.

Other examples include the business about initiative, i.e., not re-rolling it each round. That interested me, and I figured out why it's so, mainly because I didn't get it the first session. This is a positive cycle, not an occasion of repentance or Maoist self-criticism.

The trouble is, again, that pious shock that gets expressed in reaction, as if we were in some kind of sinlessness-competition. That interferes with the learning I'm talking about and pollutes the reasons we're on this forum in the first place. It only appears in D&D threads. You guys oughta consider that.

3. The final source is deliberate drift, of which there is one glaring example: we aren't playing long enough to go up a level. I dictated 3rd level because I wanted to see some Feats and spells in action, and they've gained about three thousand XPs by now, only about halfway to the next. I anticipate only one more session (or two more to post about; we played another just a couple hours ago).

That's drift, right there. That's real drift, not just casual indifference (#1 above) or whoops-error (#2). That's saying "we are playing this differently from how it's written and assumed." That has a huge impact on the nature of decisions during play and expresses more than anything how Creative Agenda gets realized.

But I will fight like a bastard to point out what is not such drift. My use of the skills rules is not. I maintain that my use of skills is rock solid by the book. I'm also aware that people read such claims as personal criticism, but there's nothing I can do about that.

So, in conclusion, there is drift in this D&D game, of three kinds. But any and all discussion of it - which also entails discussing the range of uses of the rules without drift (like skills) - is impossible, as long as that worshipful and status-driven element remains in the picture.

Best, Ron
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!