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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [D&D 3.0/3.5] Undead, real dead  (Read 9023 times)
Calithena
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 336

aka Sean


« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2006, 08:29:55 PM »

venturing in with some trepidation, but:

- 3.x contains lots of interesting subsystems (e.g. monster design) which are neat/helpful when viewed as options.

- A lot of people who play 3.x don't view them as options, although many also do.

- Pretty much nobody objected in any pre 3.x game with the name "D&D" on it to the GM saying something like "this guy's a gargoyle with extra tough skin, 2 point AC improvement". I mean, you could find such people, but they were pretty rare. (The Champions analogy is thus apt, in more ways than this.)

- Whereas, one can find lots of people who will chew you out for giving a Large Beast a 2d8 bite (or whatever), and more than one 3e group I've read about on EnWorld or rpg.net has broken down because the GM wants to keep a tight rein on magic items and/or treasure and the players point out that the challenge rating system is designed with the expectation of x thousand gp worth of equipment at y level, etc. Despite the total shock this causes D&D traditionalists, they have a point based on the text of the DMG, MM, etc. as written.

- There's a lesson here for designers. The more stuff you codify into mechanics and subsystems, the more you will create groups of players who expect things to be the way they're codified and no other way.

That's all I got.
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2006, 05:19:00 AM »

Quote
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.

No bracing needed.  I think knowing ALL the rules of ANY system is overrated.  I've played in many a game where the GM and the players LEARN as they play.  I've played in many a game where the SYSTEM changed to meet the demands of the group.  Each group is different and unique and the way they approach a system, IMO.

Quote
But there are three sources of drift, and none of you are really flashing on them, and thus the discussion is all kerflooey.

ah.  See what I said about not being a mind reader?   I could see the Drift... but I didn't focus on it because I think Drift is natural to some extent.  I didn't know that you wanted to call our attention to that.  Now i know and its half...blah, blah.

But I think that not only are your Drifting (choosing the options and rules to change)... I think there is natural "Cherry Picking" ( choosing the options and rules outright) going on.

Cherry picking is a time honored behavior in gamers.  Not many play Chivalry and Sorcery or Squad Leader (wargame, but complex enough to warrent comparison) with all the buttons pushed, every rule in use.  One takes the rules one gets, whether first pass or one hundreth.  And plays the game.  Let me ask the question this way... do you think that D&D somehow internally makes it more unlikely to Cherry Picking?  Whereas other games (GURPs, Hero) sorta expect it?

Also.  There is YOUR table.  Right now you have a rusty player, somewhat rusty to d20 GM and kids new to the whole shebang.  Even if you KNEW ALL the rules... I doubt you would be hitting them with everything at once.  I certainly wouldn't.

I do want to point out that while you are annoyed with the d20 "protectionism"... I think you've set the tone a bit yourself inadvertently:  by expressing "surprise and joy" and the kids nontypical reaction to d&d behavioral tropes.  That they do make character choices, don't belabor tactical stuff overly.  Aren't clamoring for every new xp point they can get.  In other words, not killing folks and taking their stuff.  By remarking on that, you are exposing your own D&D baggage.  I don't think it can be helped.  But in an odd way, that is an attack on D&D.... in "look at our early days" and "look how they are avoiding it" and "look how we are drifting in order to make a better game".  Attacks breed defenses.

I wonder how much of my juvenile d&d behavior was wrapped up in desire?  I had the books.  I knew that a +5 Vorpal sword would be so kewl for my elven Fighter-Mage, that greed and desire was fostered.  Have these guys read the rules yet?  Casually flipped through them during or after play?  Or actually have access and are starting to pour over the texts, seeking those "kewl" advantages and such.  I suspect it is the former from the way you've described the events.

But Ron, bottom line, these guys sound like they are having fun.  And seeing the worth of rpgs as something different and unique compared to video games and other competitions for their attention.  I love reading these adventures.  And I think you are doing a bang up job, as are your players.  Keep 'em coming!
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2006, 06:36:53 AM »

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).

I mention this purely to inform, allowing you the choice of then ignoring or incorporating as you see fit. Please don't bite my head off. I only have the one.
If your characters started at level 3, they start with 3,000 XP, and only need 3,000XP to reach the next level. (The number of XP to increase a level = level x 1000XP.)
So it sounds like they have the experience already. Obviously, for a short term game, you can ignore that. You can also ignore it without citing drift - by stating that it takes time, training, and reflection to benefit from the experience. Or you could allow them to experience what it's like to increase a level, just for that last session. You know all that, presumably, but given your perhaps justifiable impatience on this kind of subject, I felt the need to show you I know that too, and so wasn't telling you how to run your game. I'm quite attached to my head and would like to keep it.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2006, 04:19:32 PM »

Typo, not misunderstanding, in this case. Blame my fingers and not looking it up as I typed. Fortunately, it's right on their sheets.

Incidentally, I had to read those rules over carefully. because I wasn't quite seeing whether "amass 10,000" for the Lyda example meant since the previous level or in total. With a re-read, I finally figured out it meant in total. For those taking notes, I'm using the experience point rules on pp. 58-60 of edition 3.5.

You all will be pleased to know that we ran a very short session last night, when they descended into Garfauld's lair (yay! a real dungeon at last!), and then another one just now, finishing up the game entirely. Christopher leaves for summer camp on Saturday and we all made time despite some schedule crunches.

I'll post about the final two sessions in some detail. To summarize for now, in the penultimate, they fought a gelatinous cube; in the ultimate, they finally confronted Garfauld and I had a bang-up time role-playing the two sibling NPCs. And I killed a player-character! Can you guess which one?

More posting later. Schedules, as I said ...

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2006, 04:22:50 PM »

Oh yeah - Storn, I agree that cherry picking is involved, but only as a side-effect I see it mainly as my #1, in that there are sections of rules I gravitated towards learning more enthusiastically, and tend to re-read, and others that are hard to process even when I try (and trying's more rare) due to lack of interest.

I have made a concerted effort not to cherry-pick in the sense you're describing. How well it's succeeded, no one can know, but I'm willing to bet that it's minimal compared to an uncritical "gee I'll learn these rules" approach.

Best, Ron
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2006, 06:39:15 PM »

Quote
gravitated towards learning more enthusiastically, and tend to re-read, and others that are hard to process even when I try (and trying's more rare) due to lack of interest.

I'm the same way.  I rarely read every skill, for example, especially the ones that none of the players have taken.  Or every spell... I just can't retain it all.  I'll read the spells pertinent for that evenings adventure.

And then there is those awesomely strange special cases that come up... in any system... and you have to consult the rules in play... something I'm loathe to do... but occasionally it happens.
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