The Hotness
Games|People|Company
Legacy of Dragonholt
Star Crossed
Art and Arcana: A Visual History
OSR Solo
Disciples of Bone & Shadow: Core Rules
Run Faster
The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition
Ticket of Leave #14: Hark, Now Hear the Sailors Cry
Ironsworn
D&D Essentials Kit
Beamswords and Bazookas
Ninth World Bestiary 3
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
The Engagement of Adelaide Endicott
Spookshow
Domains of Dread
HR5: The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook
The Adventurer's Toolkit
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box
Shadows of a Black Sun
The One Ring Roleplaying Game
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 5e)
Numenera: Starter Set
The Wizard's Scroll (Issue 1)
Amazing Tales
Thousand Year Old Vampire
100 Books to Find on a Pugmire Bookshelf
The Sunken Village of Little Corth
MH-13: Decades: One-Shot Adventures
Highfell
Escape from the Coven of the Setting Sun
GMaid
Through Ultan's Door (Issue 2 - Jun 19)
MHHA-3: Infinity Warriors
Blightburg
Players Handbook (AD&D 1e)
Dungeon Masters Guide (AD&D 1e)
Monster Manual (AD&D 1e)
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 4e)
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
Fiend Folio
Arcane Power
The Enemy Within Campaign Volume 1: Shadows Over Bögenhafen
Manual of the Planes
Angmar: Land of the Witch King
Call of Cthulhu (6th Edition)
Dread
Wilderness Survival Guide
Deities & Demigods
Greyhawk Adventures
Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
65 Posts
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

RPG» Forums » General Discussion » General Role-Playing

Subject: PCs of a lower level adventuring w/ ones of higher levels rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chuck Dee
msg tools
designer
Sometimes, you just have to roll it.
badge
Why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
robbbbbb wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
Going back to HiveGod's post, there has to be a threshold where it becomes pure comedy with no other value. Like, just hanging out with the party is instant death for a 1st level character. "Hi guys, I'm Bob" "Hi Bob!" *dragon breath* "Poor Bob..."


"Hey guys, this is my new character. His name is Spinalt Apdrum Mer."


We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hans Messersmith
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
admin
designer
With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
badge
Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind Away from me.
Avatar
mbmbmb
chuckdee68 wrote:
We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
This is a prime example of how the aesthetic taste of the players is just as important in this issue (as with so many issues) as mechanics/houserules/whatever. Either you are in a group of people where "Teflon XI" is as funny a joke as "Teflon VI" was, or you aren't. Or at least in a group of people whose eyes won't roll so hard that they pop out of their skulls around about "Teflon IV".

For me, I'd already be throwing popcorn across the table and groaning audibly by "Teflon II".
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Unwin
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
I'm sympathetic to thematic preferences, and have some of my own, but I weigh them carefully against the degree to which a player's fun would be impacted by being forced to make or play a different character or sit out of the game. If they could compromise on the name, I wouldn't particularly care if the new character were identical.

That said, I did this once in what I hope was a fun way. I had a Gamma World character who was a humanoid android named HACTAR II. He died and the utterly identical HACTAR III showed up almost immediately. You see, he had been pursuing HACTAR II, his creator, in order to rid the world of his inferior design; plus, he needed to keep moving so that his own creation, the shockingly ungrateful HACTAR IV, didn't catch up and do for him. I'm pretty sure HACTAR IV did make an appearance, but not until after HACTAR III perished at the mandibles of some giant ants, or something.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Back in the day, during a long running AD&D campaign, we used several methods:

-Each player had 2 or 3 characters, so after a death, a player still had at least 1 character at level.

-Up until the about the 4th level, bringing in a new 1st level character was not problematic. They had to be more careful and had a higher death rate. But they could contribute to the party, if in a small way, and they advanced fast.

-As the party increased in level, many of the characters acquired henchmen. When a character died, there was often a henchman to take their place.

-A couple of characters were imported from another campaign. They were lower level than the party, but a good deal above 1st level.

-Towards the end, when the party was around 10th level, I let 1 player create a 4th level character, who took a couple of solo adventures, bringing her to 5th level, before joining the party. This was the least satisfying method. Players found that having a character with experiences going back to the 1st level was more satisfying.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Unwin
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
ejclason wrote:
-As the party increased in level, many of the characters acquired henchmen. When a character died, there was often a henchman to take their place.

I've heard of this approach being used, and I have some questions.

Were these henchmen "built" the same way as characters? That is, did they have a class and/or specific race and were they worthy characters in their own right who just happened to be employees rather than employers? Or were they "lesser" or more "generic" somehow?

What I'm getting as was: was picking up a henchmen as one's player as entertaining to a player and as worth their time as playing a regular character? Was the henchman worth sticking with and treating as a normal adventurer?

I just joined a PBP of Basic D&D and we're playing Isle of Dread. The DM rolled for random henchfolk, and we were allowed to hire other underlings. The underlings seem pretty generic; mostly interchangeable, unnamed, dwarves. My hench person is a wizard, and I think someone else has a cleric. The henchfolk are lower level, but otherwise "normal." My wizard has better ability scores than my thief, to the point that I'd seriously consider letting my thief die in order to get to play the wizard. Though, I am already pretty much playing the wizard, just not as my primary character.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
flag msg tools
designer
I've been Banished to Oregon... Gaming in Corvallis, living in Alsea... Need gamers willing to try new things...
badge
The Splattered Imperium
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
skalchemist wrote:
chuckdee68 wrote:
We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
This is a prime example of how the aesthetic taste of the players is just as important in this issue (as with so many issues) as mechanics/houserules/whatever. Either you are in a group of people where "Teflon XI" is as funny a joke as "Teflon VI" was, or you aren't. Or at least in a group of people whose eyes won't roll so hard that they pop out of their skulls around about "Teflon IV".

For me, I'd already be throwing popcorn across the table and groaning audibly by "Teflon II".
Unless he was the host, I'd have kicked him at Teflon III. If he was the host, I'd move the game elsewhere.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
enduran wrote:
ejclason wrote:
-As the party increased in level, many of the characters acquired henchmen. When a character died, there was often a henchman to take their place.

...
Were these henchmen "built" the same way as characters? That is, did they have a class and/or specific race and were they worthy characters in their own right who just happened to be employees rather than employers? Or were they "lesser" or more "generic" somehow?
...

The PC put out advertisements (can't remember what form they took, but it did cost GPs) for a henchman. I (the DM) then created a few henchman who answered the call. The PC interviewed the candidates and then decided if and who to hire (can't remember if I allowed the player to see the candidate stats before they made the hire decision).

The henchman were 'regular' characters (class, stats, levels, skills, etc). The biggest difference between full PCs and Henchmen was Henchmen only got half XP. Therefore, over time, they were usually a level or 2 behind the full PCs. For the most part the Player would control a Henchman as he would a full PC. I only stepped in occasionally, for example during the negotiation of the Henchman's compensation agreement. I don't remember a player trying to take advantage of a Henchman, to the Henchman's detriment. Mostly players wanted their Henchman to succeed, almost as much as there PC.
6 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chuck Dee
msg tools
designer
Sometimes, you just have to roll it.
badge
Why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aramis wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
chuckdee68 wrote:
We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
This is a prime example of how the aesthetic taste of the players is just as important in this issue (as with so many issues) as mechanics/houserules/whatever. Either you are in a group of people where "Teflon XI" is as funny a joke as "Teflon VI" was, or you aren't. Or at least in a group of people whose eyes won't roll so hard that they pop out of their skulls around about "Teflon IV".

For me, I'd already be throwing popcorn across the table and groaning audibly by "Teflon II".
Unless he was the host, I'd have kicked him at Teflon III. If he was the host, I'd move the game elsewhere.


He was what we call "comic relief". He was one of those people that don't like the game, but like being a part of the group, and wasn't around much as he was a party animal too. So when he'd bring in his new iteration of Teflon, it was funny at the time, and he was quickly dead from some strange decision he'd make. Then he'd just hang around for the night, and we'd see him a few sessions later.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ctimmins wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
Why should there be a "penalty" for character death?

Perhaps "penalty" is the wrong word, here. And, there are all kinds of groups that do it all kinds of ways, and whatever works for them - that's great.

No, I think penalty is a pretty valid term. I'm sure I had a reason for putting it in quotes, but now I'm not sure what it was.

And the "groups do it all kind of ways" may make this conversation irrelevant; I can see reasons people might choose to play any number of ways, I'm just not good on the idea that there SHOULD be a penalty, as in, "this is something that games must provide and people must do otherwise there are problems".

Quote:
If you remove all penalties of death, then character death is a non-event. And players will respond to that. Characters will take any/all risks, behave in insane ways, and basically slug it out to the last bitter hit point. This also removes most of the fun of the game, because now you're just automatically accumulating XP and treasure no matter what.


One could just as easily say that if death has penalties, then players will respond to that by refusing to take any risks, behaving in only the safest and most boring ways, and refusing to actually be in a situation where they can use any of the skills and treasures and items that the game is about acquiring. This removes most of the fun of the game.

Both slippery slopes...neither seem like desirable ways to play, but I can't imagine playing either of those ways. Overall our view of what games like D&D are about seems so radically different that they don't even resemble the same thing. I suppose that if your group plays that way, this is something the rules "should" do for you - but it is absolutely not something rules in general need to do!

StormKnight wrote:
Why shouldn't a played who wants to try something else just be able to switch to a different character?

There's absolutely no reason they shouldn't. But switching characters because "I want to try a warlock bard gnome" seems legit, but "Bob XIV just died, here's Sheila XXVII" is just silly. "Oh, I just died? I'm playing the exact same character, let me swap out the name on the sheet... next round? Cool, I'm at full HP!"

It also depends on the campaign. The GM needs to be able to plan in advance, and if players show up with random new builds each and every time, then it puts a lot on the GM and (probably) really hurts campaign continuity. Assuming, of course, you're playing in a campaign.[/q]
Hmm, yes, I would think constant switching would be a problem in many games. I was more thinking 'eh, I've been playing a fighter a long time, I'm bored and want to switch to a wizard instead'.

Quote:
]In D&D Adventurers League, characters of Tier 1 (I think that's levels 1 - 4) are reconfigurable between sessions. You "keep" your stuff and XP but you can rebuild your character as much as you want to. It's intended to let players start with standard pre-gens at a con, then go home and make the character they want. I think it's a pretty good method.

I'm confused by that, though I'm not sure it really connects. If you are going to a home game, couldn't you do whatever you (and the GM) wanted, regardless of what happened in the Adventurers League game?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Hardy
msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

You know, from reading this thread, one could take away that the problem is people are playing D&D instead of other games.

Classes force people into specific categories with specific powers, but other games do not do that. So, this allows for a person to develop their PC in other ways. Eclipse Phase allows you to rearrange your abilities not just add/develop new ones.

Levels create issues with power between PCs and then PC v. Environment. Games without levels can often avoid or minimize the difference in power levels so new and experience PCs can play together without issue.

Those who do not like PC death can find other games with other challenges that they might enjoy where death is not on the table.

People obviously play D&D and then make changes/accommodations to make it work better for their group. But I have to wonder if gaming groups would be happier playing a game designed for what they enjoy rather than trying to modify things for the game they are playing.
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hans Messersmith
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
admin
designer
With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
badge
Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind Away from me.
Avatar
mbmbmb
SteamCraft wrote:
People obviously play D&D and then make changes/accommodations to make it work better for their group. But I have to wonder if gaming groups would be happier playing a game designed for what they enjoy rather than trying to modify things for the game they are playing.
Jamie gets all the thumbs up from me.

In fact, 12 years ago or so I felt dogmatic about this, like it was nearly a religious tenet. "What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!" I still have to be careful that kind of tone doesn't seep into my conversations.

But I've mellowed, because I now have a lot better sense of the costs associated with always trying to find the "right" game instead of just living with what you have and enjoying it as best you can. Also, I think I understand far better now how different people get very different types of enjoyment from role-playing than I do, where things that grate on me don't bother them at all or even improve their experience.

I still agree 100% with the principle (and think it applies to nearly everything, not just D&D), but I no longer view it as holy wisdom.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Bowser
United States
Kernersville
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
SteamCraft wrote:


People obviously play D&D and then make changes/accommodations to make it work better for their group. But I have to wonder if gaming groups would be happier playing a game designed for what they enjoy rather than trying to modify things for the game they are playing.


There are also groups that derive enjoyment from making those changes and accommodations. It's fun for them to hack apart the game, look at the guts, and put it back together in something that's recognizable as what it started out as, but different. My groups fall in that category. Between our now 10 members, we have a huge library of different games. But we only play certain ones because we like disassembling them and putting them back in a slightly different order.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clark Timmins
United States
West Jordan
Utah
flag msg tools
admin
designer
So stop your cheap comment, 'cause we know what we feel...
badge
My sticky paws were into making straws out of big fat slurpy treats - incredible eight-foot heap / Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat involved an under usual feat
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:
One could just as easily say that if death has penalties, then players will respond to that by refusing to take any risks, behaving in only the safest and most boring ways, and refusing to actually be in a situation where they can use any of the skills and treasures and items that the game is about acquiring.


Yes, quite true I suppose. But, the fundamental balance of D&D style games seems (to me) to be the perceived tension between reward and danger. Necessarily, you have to buy in to the idea of character improvement being a major goal, and wealth accumulation being a form of character improvement.

It's easily possible - I suppose - that one could run a home game of D&D where year after year the characters farm or operate taverns or pursue careers in tanning or whatever, all the while remaining at 1st level. I guess you could do it, but D&D is (arguably) about the worst system you could pick for a game of that sort.

But, if I may be so bold, the "standard" game of D&D sees the characters engaging in behavior that is perceived as risky in order to obtain rewards that are perceived as above normal.

Wikipedia's D&D intro explains thusly:

Quote:
Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles, and gather treasure and knowledge. In the process, the characters earn experience points (XP) in order to rise in levels, and become increasingly powerful over a series of separate gaming sessions.


I think that's pretty accurate, with the "engage in battles" being one of the "three pillars" of the D&D game.

I guess what I'm saying, is that if you perturb either end of this relationship, you lose the balance and the play experience, for your "average" gamer, suffers. Too much treasure and too little danger? That gets boring (Monty Haul, described in just under one trillion RPG magazine columns over the past 40 years). Too little treasure and too much danger? That gets frustrating (Killer Dungeon, described in just under one trillion other RPG magazine columns over the past 40 years). Seeking the balance seems to make for the best play experience.

To me, the perceived reality of character death is the anchor point of all "danger" in the game. Undead level-draining might be an independent, secondary anchor. If you tacitly remove any actual "penalty" for character death, then there's no danger, no perceived threat, and the balance suffers. No?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clark Timmins
United States
West Jordan
Utah
flag msg tools
admin
designer
So stop your cheap comment, 'cause we know what we feel...
badge
My sticky paws were into making straws out of big fat slurpy treats - incredible eight-foot heap / Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat involved an under usual feat
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
skalchemist wrote:
"What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!"

I think the method to that madness mostly is found in the common ground experience. Most players know D&D/D20. Most players are familiar with it. It's the English of roleplaying.

Pick up game of D&D? Yeah, I'm in - I know how to do that.

Pick up game of e.g. Pulp Adventure? Uh... I only got a couple hours, so...

Also, most players have a copy of the PHB. Other games? Uh... where do I get that? Ten bucks?! I dunno...

One could argue that Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is superior to Magic: The Gathering. M:tG, the English of CCG.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hans Messersmith
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
admin
designer
With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
badge
Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind Away from me.
Avatar
mbmbmb
ctimmins wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
"What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!"

I think the method to that madness mostly is found in the common ground experience. Most players know D&D/D20. Most players are familiar with it. It's the English of roleplaying.
It sounds stupid to me now, but there was a time only 12 years ago when I didn't realize that there were people, many people, maybe even MOST people, who disliked learning rules and figuring out new games. I eventually figured it out. It still mystifies me, along the same lines that people who enjoy mint juleps mystify me. But I accept it as a fact.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Unwin
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
ctimmins wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
"What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!"

I think the method to that madness mostly is found in the common ground experience. Most players know D&D/D20. Most players are familiar with it. It's the English of roleplaying.

Good metaphor. There are people who try to convey things in English that other languages could convey better, but that doesn't mean it's worth them learning that other language. Some people definitely would, but others would just borrow words, or learn to live with awkward phrasing.

There are far fewer different games than there are ways of playing, so if lots of people want to play a game that really fits their way of playing many of those people are going to have to modify the rules no matter what game they play. Or, put another way, a system written by someone not at one's table is rarely going to be as close a match to the preferences of one's table as one someone has modified (at least a little) to fit their own table.
5 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Hardy
msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
enduran wrote:
There are far fewer different games than there are ways of playing, so if lots of people want to play a game that really fits their way of playing many of those people are going to have to modify the rules no matter what game they play. Or, put another way, a system written by someone not at one's table is rarely going to be as close a match to the preferences of one's table as one someone has modified (at least a little) to fit their own table.


Not really. Take a look at the database on here. I am going to use religion as an example.

Suppose a person is raised Catholic. The agree with most of Catholic teachings. However, the person do not like that women cannot be priests. The person does not think the Pope is infallible. The person also thinks that artificial birth control is not only moral, but the sensible thing to do.

One day, someone comes along and lets the person know that the Anglican Church matches that person's belief. Does it make sense to stay Catholic if there is another religion that matches what you actually believe?

The same applies to gaming. While there are styles of gaming and each table may be different, in a sense, some game systems are much more suitable for different styles and different objectives. Once you have to start making major tweaks then you are likely better off with another game system.

A few things now and then are likely to occur, but there often seems to be a substantial disconnect in many groups between what players like and what is being played. I do not like class/level systems. If I play D&D with any frequency anymore, I would constantly complain. There are many alternatives available that better satisfy my rules preferences and style of play than any version of D&D.

Yet, I think in many instances, people are stuck playing a game system when another one would better suit their needs.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Hardy
msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
skalchemist wrote:
SteamCraft wrote:
People obviously play D&D and then make changes/accommodations to make it work better for their group. But I have to wonder if gaming groups would be happier playing a game designed for what they enjoy rather than trying to modify things for the game they are playing.
Jamie gets all the thumbs up from me.

In fact, 12 years ago or so I felt dogmatic about this, like it was nearly a religious tenet. "What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!" I still have to be careful that kind of tone doesn't seep into my conversations.

But I've mellowed, because I now have a lot better sense of the costs associated with always trying to find the "right" game instead of just living with what you have and enjoying it as best you can. Also, I think I understand far better now how different people get very different types of enjoyment from role-playing than I do, where things that grate on me don't bother them at all or even improve their experience.

I still agree 100% with the principle (and think it applies to nearly everything, not just D&D), but I no longer view it as holy wisdom.


This is why I lament anyone who starts role-playing with any version of D&D. D&D frames how people view RPGs in terms of rules, styles, objectives, etc. In my experience, once people start playing D&D, they will seldom try another game. Even if you can get them to play another game, they will complain because it does not work like D&D (even if they spend a lot of time complaining about D&D.)

Those who do not start with D&D are much more open to other games. As such, they are much more likely to find games that better match what they want to play or how they play. Other games, for whatever reason, do not seem to condition a person's mind, perception, and method of playing in the way that D&D always has. Maybe it is the crunchiness, focus on combat, and focusing to roll to solve problems?

While I do think a lot of the issue is that people do not know other rule systems so they can find a better one for them, the biggest issue is that D&D is the least common denominator between gamers. I think there are people knowledgeable enough to point groups to different games that would work better for their group. They might even be willing to run it for them. But, getting the group to take that step in the first place is what is most difficult.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clark Timmins
United States
West Jordan
Utah
flag msg tools
admin
designer
So stop your cheap comment, 'cause we know what we feel...
badge
My sticky paws were into making straws out of big fat slurpy treats - incredible eight-foot heap / Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat involved an under usual feat
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SteamCraft wrote:
Those who do not start with D&D are much more open to other games. As such, they are much more likely to find games that better match what they want to play or how they play.

Yeah, like D&D
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Hardy
msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ctimmins wrote:
SteamCraft wrote:
Those who do not start with D&D are much more open to other games. As such, they are much more likely to find games that better match what they want to play or how they play.

Yeah, like D&D


Sometimes that is true. Tons of people truly love it even if they did not start with it.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
flag msg tools
designer
I've been Banished to Oregon... Gaming in Corvallis, living in Alsea... Need gamers willing to try new things...
badge
The Splattered Imperium
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chuckdee68 wrote:
aramis wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
chuckdee68 wrote:
We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
This is a prime example of how the aesthetic taste of the players is just as important in this issue (as with so many issues) as mechanics/houserules/whatever. Either you are in a group of people where "Teflon XI" is as funny a joke as "Teflon VI" was, or you aren't. Or at least in a group of people whose eyes won't roll so hard that they pop out of their skulls around about "Teflon IV".

For me, I'd already be throwing popcorn across the table and groaning audibly by "Teflon II".
Unless he was the host, I'd have kicked him at Teflon III. If he was the host, I'd move the game elsewhere.


He was what we call "comic relief". He was one of those people that don't like the game, but like being a part of the group, and wasn't around much as he was a party animal too. So when he'd bring in his new iteration of Teflon, it was funny at the time, and he was quickly dead from some strange decision he'd make. Then he'd just hang around for the night, and we'd see him a few sessions later.


Even more reasons I'd rather not game with someone...
If they aren't there for the fun of the game, I don't want them there at all.
StormKnight wrote:
ctimmins wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
Why should there be a "penalty" for character death?

Perhaps "penalty" is the wrong word, here. And, there are all kinds of groups that do it all kinds of ways, and whatever works for them - that's great.

No, I think penalty is a pretty valid term. I'm sure I had a reason for putting it in quotes, but now I'm not sure what it was.

Why a penalty?

Risk-reward cycles.

It has been my experience that, if I know death is off the table, I don't get anywhere near as invested in the character.

especially so in old school D&D, where much of the game can be seen as a combo of resource management and pressing one's luck... risking the character itself makes the risk more real; having to generate a newer, less capable character enhances the accomplishment rush for "cheating death."
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chuck Dee
msg tools
designer
Sometimes, you just have to roll it.
badge
Why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aramis wrote:
chuckdee68 wrote:
aramis wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
chuckdee68 wrote:
We had a guy that did this in one of our games- though each was a new character. He named his first character Teflon, then proceeded through a variety of Roman numerals as a suffix. He died a lot from doing stupid things- he was at the game more for the company than the game.
This is a prime example of how the aesthetic taste of the players is just as important in this issue (as with so many issues) as mechanics/houserules/whatever. Either you are in a group of people where "Teflon XI" is as funny a joke as "Teflon VI" was, or you aren't. Or at least in a group of people whose eyes won't roll so hard that they pop out of their skulls around about "Teflon IV".

For me, I'd already be throwing popcorn across the table and groaning audibly by "Teflon II".
Unless he was the host, I'd have kicked him at Teflon III. If he was the host, I'd move the game elsewhere.


He was what we call "comic relief". He was one of those people that don't like the game, but like being a part of the group, and wasn't around much as he was a party animal too. So when he'd bring in his new iteration of Teflon, it was funny at the time, and he was quickly dead from some strange decision he'd make. Then he'd just hang around for the night, and we'd see him a few sessions later.


Even more reasons I'd rather not game with someone...
If they aren't there for the fun of the game, I don't want them there at all.



These days, I would agree with you. My gaming time is too scarce to be wasted on such. But back then, I was in college, and we were gaming a bit before and after parties, and on nights we couldn't go out. It was serious, but not that serious.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ctimmins wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
One could just as easily say that if death has penalties, then players will respond to that by refusing to take any risks, behaving in only the safest and most boring ways, and refusing to actually be in a situation where they can use any of the skills and treasures and items that the game is about acquiring.


Yes, quite true I suppose. But, the fundamental balance of D&D style games seems (to me) to be the perceived tension between reward and danger. Necessarily, you have to buy in to the idea of character improvement being a major goal, and wealth accumulation being a form of character improvement.

Yeah, I don't buy into that at all.

And again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with playing the way you are describing (beyond lack of support in the system, which I'll get into in a moment), but saying a game should have this to me is not the same as saying "I like this in a game".

Quote:
Wikipedia's D&D intro explains thusly:

Quote:
Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles, and gather treasure and knowledge. In the process, the characters earn experience points (XP) in order to rise in levels, and become increasingly powerful over a series of separate gaming sessions.

See, to me, the point of D&D is solving dilemmas and engaging in battles. (Though I'd probably pick a word like 'challenges' over 'dilemmas', but that's just me). Gathering XP is, as it says actually, something that happens "in the process". It is in many ways incidental. Its a way of gradually varying up the character abilities and opposition to keep things from getting stale while maintaining the same characters.

Quote:
I guess what I'm saying, is that if you perturb either end of this relationship, you lose the balance and the play experience, for your "average" gamer, suffers. Too much treasure and too little danger? That gets boring (Monty Haul, described in just under one trillion RPG magazine columns over the past 40 years). Too little treasure and too much danger? That gets frustrating (Killer Dungeon, described in just under one trillion other RPG magazine columns over the past 40 years). Seeking the balance seems to make for the best play experience.

I think you are looking at part of the equation and seeing the wrong part. By this logic, a game with "too little danger and a corresponding amount of treasure" would be fine, as would "too much danger for a lot of treasure". In point of fact, a game that's low on 'danger' will probably be boring regardless of the amount of treasure, and while there are subsets of players that would enjoy trying to overcome nasty killer dungeons, those players probably are interested in that challenge aspect largely regardless of the rewards, while players that wouldn't enjoy them probably still wouldn't enjoy them no matter what the rewards were.

Quote:
To me, the perceived reality of character death is the anchor point of all "danger" in the game. Undead level-draining might be an independent, secondary anchor. If you tacitly remove any actual "penalty" for character death, then there's no danger, no perceived threat, and the balance suffers. No?

But players may also be playing with any of the goals of overcoming challenges, playing out battles, building interesting characters, playing a character, creating a "story". None of these are dependent on having meta-game "punishments" for failure. If we fail to overcome a challenge, well, we've failed that challenge. That's tension enough. If we're mostly interested in roleplaying in character, what the heck does "danger and perceived threat" even have to do with our enjoyment?

As for the 'balance' about risk/reward, I seem almost nothing like that in the game at all. Across several version of D&D I've never seen mechanics or advice focusing on presenting characters with a variety of options with different risk/reward levels. And I've certainly never seen any mechanics or advice on providing an external goal/threat/measure to compete against to make risk/reward meaningful. Without an opponent, timer, or some other consideration to actually provide incentive to pick riskier but more rewarding options, the mechanically best move is to pick low risk options.

I'm sure someone COULD build a D&D game around these sorts of choices, but it isn't built into the game at all.

Diablo II includes a hardcore code as an option, but many, many people prefer not to play on it. You are saying that D&D (and similar games) should ONLY include an ultra-hardcore mode.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
In fact, 12 years ago or so I felt dogmatic about this, like it was nearly a religious tenet. "What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!" I still have to be careful that kind of tone doesn't seep into my conversations.

It would be better advice if there were any way to find roleplaying games that ARE right for you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hans Messersmith
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
admin
designer
With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
badge
Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind Away from me.
Avatar
mbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
In fact, 12 years ago or so I felt dogmatic about this, like it was nearly a religious tenet. "What is wrong with you people playing games that aren't right for you! Madness!!!" I still have to be careful that kind of tone doesn't seep into my conversations.

It would be better advice if there were any way to find roleplaying games that ARE right for you.
I think "you" in that sentence means "Brian" and not "Hans", right?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.