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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Donjon issues  (Read 3152 times)

Posts: 80

« on: September 01, 2007, 07:03:53 PM »

Last Thursday I started GM'ing some Donjon sessions to fil in a gap between campaigns. It was the group's first time playing Donjon, mine as well, and while we had a good time we ran into some issues.

1) Starting equipment: no mention of it in the book. Since I only had 2 players of the 4 I expected, I just let them have whatever they wanted of Worth 4 or less. Didn't seem to break anything, really...

2) Smashing PCs. It never actually came up, but one of my PCs is a 'Steel Dwarf'. Main ability of 'Shrug off Damage' at 4. Since I can't damage abilities, he'll always roll these 4 dice in damage tests against me. So the odds of me ever smashing him are pretty low. I don't expect it to be a problem but it still doesn't seem right.

3) When you fail a Gathering Power check, can you cast a spell anyway? I mean, the magic rules allow for spells that use up 0 Spell Dice, so you're just left with very little options. Of course, this then beckons the question if it's really necessary to Gather Power, if all you really want is an instant, one target, one Word spell...

4) The fact that you only make one roll for Spellcasting, against which the NPCs must save for each separate effect. This seems to be breaking the basic currency of the game. If I have 5 Spell Dice for a spell, I can use them for one effect and have 5 bonus dice. If I spend one of them to add a second effect though, the monsters need to save twice against 4 bonus dice, effectively doubling my dice pool.

5) The Turquoise-robed Sorcerer of the party wanted to summon elementals. At first, I just went with the book's suggestion of using the summoned monster's level as difficulty. Then it hit me that that was totally not balanced. Any decent level 1 wizard can summon a level 6 monster for the duration of combat. Even if  the mage is required to retain full concentration for the rest of combat to control the summoned one, it's equivalent to swapping out the level 1 mage for a level 6 character. Too easy, IMO. Needs to be rethought.

6) I'm not happy with the dice pools. Extra dice do not seem to increase the odds of success enough. My NPC Necromancer of Wherewithal 2 got blasted over and over by the mage, who frequently rolled a dozen dice, without taking any damage... It was frustrating for the mage player and didn't quite make sense to me either.

7) Initiative is too random, too spread out. We had two combats in the game. The dwarf only had 3 actions, and he always rolled low. The player just disconnected from the battle because he knew he'd have to wait a while before he could do anything. This needs to be improved somehow.

Anyway, the game was fun in spite of this, even though I know I need to change a few things about how I run the game to really get the players' input flowing. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have on these matters.
The Dragon Master

Posts: 115

« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2007, 04:48:25 PM »

1) For starting Equipment, you would have them buy equipment at start. This is confirmed by Clinton in this thread.

2) Seems to me like this one is about right. Sure, in this area he is very potent, but he had to give up dice in other abilities to do so.

3) I'd say that if you fail the check, you have to start again if you still want to cast a spell, but someone with more experience should probably verify that.

5) One thing that I've noticed is that even when given great power, if the consequences are dire enough, players are less likely to use it. In the elemental example, I'd say that if he looses concentration the demon doesn't simply vanish, but rather decides to come after the one who disturbed it. Given time, the player might decide that the elemental just isn't worth it to call all the time, but rather is a last resort.

6) For alternate dice pools, try a search on the forum. There are a few different alternatives if you look around.

7) For an alternate version of initiation try this thread.

Those are the only area's where I can give any assistance. You'd need someone more experienced than me for the others. Though I should mention, this is a dead system. There isn't any work being done on it, and Clinton has said he isn't going to do any more work on it. So if you any part of the system doesn't work for you, you'll need to work it out for yourself. There have been some house rules worked up,

"You get what everone gets. You get a lifetime." -Death of the Endless
The names Tony

Sorcerer Workshop, Phoenix Comicon, May 27th - 30th 2010
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