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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!  (Read 7507 times)

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Offline Tsenta

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #100 on: December 30, 2012, 10:42:35 PM »
I'd like to learn more about the Dragonlance setting. Any books in particular I should read?

I suggest starting at the begining, Dragonlance Chronicles books 1 - 3. Also if you love a good story I suggest the Brothers saga, all about Raistlin and Camaron, the Majere brothers.

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #101 on: December 30, 2012, 11:08:57 PM »
I suggest starting at the begining, Dragonlance Chronicles books 1 - 3. Also if you love a good story I suggest the Brothers saga, all about Raistlin and Camaron, the Majere brothers.

Thank you, Tsenta! I'll look those up! :D

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #102 on: December 31, 2012, 07:34:29 AM »
I suggest starting at the begining, Dragonlance Chronicles books 1 - 3. Also if you love a good story I suggest the Brothers saga, all about Raistlin and Camaron, the Majere brothers.
Sadly, after that the series takes a downturn, although I loved the Twins trilogy.

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #103 on: January 06, 2013, 07:30:57 PM »
So guys, has anybody had any experience with 4th Edition Essentials?  Does the Rules Cyclopedia serve as a good, concise, and updated manual in place of the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide?  Or does Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms serve that role?

Something else, has anybody here had experience with 3rd party settings?  Has anyone here tried out Midnight by Fantasy Flight Games?

The premise is that it's like Lord of the Rings, except that Sauron won.  The PCs are resistance fighters against Izrador, the evil god-king entity which now rules most of the continent.  The realms of the Dwarves and Elves are the few last bastions of organized resistance, and they're slowly losing the battle.

It intrigues me, but I don't know how good it is in terms of fluff and mechanics.  I'm concerned how they'd handle the "low-magic" aspect in 3rd Edition, as previous attempts at this endeavor almost never work past low levels.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:33:18 PM by Skynet »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #104 on: January 06, 2013, 09:17:22 PM »
As a member of a local team of Encounters DMs, I have extensive experience with 4e Essentials.  The Rules Cyclopedia is nothing more than the errata collected until that point.  It has no classes, gear or attributes or other means of character creation.  It's the 4e Rules corrected until that point.  It's completely compatible with the current 4e materials.  The Heroes of... Books have reenvisionings of the basic classes, although they're meant to be compatible (and they are, completely) they are stripped down and modified versions of the original 4e classes.

I have a copy of Midnight.  It has been a while since I read it, though.  I remember the various 'blood' types (like the warrior centric Ironblood) and that they had multiple types of humans (which I approve, but I have a hatred of the Human Monoculture that keeps cropping up in Fantasy games, Dwarves and Elves have multiple phenotypes in D&D but humans, who have some in the real world, don't?  Huhn?)  The only way I remember (and I could be incorrectly remembering) that the tried to make it 'low magic' was giving in setting reasons as to why there wouldn't be magic users, or magic items.  Which as everyone who had the 'Magic is GODLY' problem in 3.x (which is not everyone) that doesn't work.

I got around that by giving Fighting Men (Fighters, Rangers and Paladins, Barbs needed no help) their BAB in damage.  And it worked like 3.5's Power Attack (full damage bonus with one handed weapons, 1.5x damage with dual wielding and 2x with two handed weapons.  Ranged attacks was 1x Base Attack Bonus, AKA BAB.  Also I figured the extra attack from Two Weapon Fighting mitigated the extra damage from two handed weapons.  And if you're going sword and board, you're not looking for damage.)

Although, now that I think on it, if I were to run 3.x again (*shudder*) and Midnight, I'd also allow Two Weapon Fighting with one hand and shield, if the players wanted to do that.  I would have to do something about those feats though...  I hate feat taxes...  No one should have to pay for their character concept, when others don't have to.

I never figured out healing though...  But now, I'd implement something like 4e's rest system.

And probably neuter the hit point progression...

*Brain percolating*

Offline tsc

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2013, 10:08:43 PM »
What Chris said about Essentials - but note that some of the redone classes have different roles than the older versions, which can be useful.  For example, the Essentials Ranger is a Controller who inflicts conditions on foes through archery.  One of the Essentials Fighters is a Striker rather than a Defender.  The Essentials Mage is still a Controller, but has a lot of Enchantment and Illusion spells, which gives it a different flavor in how it does things.

The Essentials versions of the classes tend to have fewer options, making for quicker character creation, and to be closer to the flavor of the classes from older versions.  They also don't all follow the same mold as the PH1/2/3 classes - the fighter and rogue versions both use a lot of at-will stances.

If you're going to use Essentials together with the older books, you should note that the Essentials versions of things are better in some ways.  For example, the fighter and rogue have at-will stances that do things that some of the older fighter/rogue encounter powers did, which ramps up their combat power a bit.  Also, there are a lot of feats in Essentials that are pretty much improved versions of older feats (but with different names), and render the older feats completely redundant.  You may need to steer players away from the redundant feats, or, if you're 'upgrading' a campaign, allow players with them to trade them in for the 'improved' feats.

The Essentials monster book has some new monsters, but also has old ones with errata integrated.  If you don't have a lot of minis, it also has a fairly nice set of monster/PC counters with pictures on them.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2013, 10:16:14 PM »
What Chris said about Essentials - but note that some of the redone classes have different roles than the older versions, which can be useful.  For example, the Essentials Ranger is a Controller who inflicts conditions on foes through archery.  One of the Essentials Fighters is a Striker rather than a Defender.  The Essentials Mage is still a Controller, but has a lot of Enchantment and Illusion spells, which gives it a different flavor in how it does things.

Right ONE of the Rangers, the Hunter (which is no relation to the Hunter Ranger of regular 4e fame) is a Ranged Controller specialist, he's more Striker than Control, but...  And the Fighter is the Slayer, a two handed weapon expert.

The Essentials versions of the classes tend to have fewer options, making for quicker character creation, and to be closer to the flavor of the classes from older versions.  They also don't all follow the same mold as the PH1/2/3 classes - the fighter and rogue versions both use a lot of at-will stances.

It's designed for beginners, some of whom felt overwhelmed by just the core book options available.

If you're going to use Essentials together with the older books, you should note that the Essentials versions of things are better in some ways.  For example, the fighter and rogue have at-will stances that do things that some of the older fighter/rogue encounter powers did, which ramps up their combat power a bit.  Also, there are a lot of feats in Essentials that are pretty much improved versions of older feats (but with different names), and render the older feats completely redundant.  You may need to steer players away from the redundant feats, or, if you're 'upgrading' a campaign, allow players with them to trade them in for the 'improved' feats.

However, after level 10, they lose effectiveness as compared to the rest of 4e. 

The Essentials monster book has some new monsters, but also has old ones with errata integrated.  If you don't have a lot of minis, it also has a fairly nice set of monster/PC counters with pictures on them.
They are among the best value, actually.  The fixes to the Solos especially are nice.

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #107 on: January 31, 2013, 06:05:45 PM »
Here a D&D question that's been on my mind lately, and of which I'd love to know the answer.:

Let's say that a vampire decides that he's sick of being undead and wants to become a human (or other base creature) again. As he is already undead, could he be directly resurrected and brought back to life, or would he have to first be destroyed, then resurrected? And if he was successfully resurrected, would he return as his mortal self, or as his vampire self? ???

I'd be really grateful if someone would answer this. :-) I'm sorry if the answer is obvious and I haven't picked up on it. ::)

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #108 on: January 31, 2013, 06:22:57 PM »
"GM Fiat technically matters most, but here is how I'd rule it."

"Okay, let's say we have two guys, a zombie and a vampire, and two forms of resurrection, Raise Dead and True Resurrection. Raise Dead requires a corpse, to me, a zombie is not a corpse. That is like saying -2 = 0. Dead is 0, undead is Negative. If you kill the zombie and cast Raise Dead, the person is now alive, the person he was before he died (presuming his soul is still available and agrees to be raised)."

"Now, True Resurrection requires no corpse, and the zombie isn't intelligent, so it has no 'soul', presumably. So I can True Resurrect my friend back, and he could got out and actually kill his zombie former body. How often do you get to say that?"

"Alright, now the vampire. Raise Dead + Vampire has the same effects. The body isn't a corpse, so it can't be destroyed. Now, in DnD a staked vampire is inanimate, not destroyed. One could argue that is a corpse, but that would be DM fiat, and I'd make something really weird happen."

"Vampire + True Resurrection, however, also runs into problems. The vampire is intelligent, and for all intents and purposes, retains the person's old memories and such. That implies his soul is still in there. A GM could rule that if the soul wishes to leave, and there isn't some kind of vampire or necromancer controlling his body, the vampire might die and become your friend in a new body. However, otherwise, you need to kill the vampire to bring your friend back, because his soul is still stuck, regardless of your need for a corpse."

"There's my rulings. Every GM is different though, so I can't speak for everyone."

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #109 on: January 31, 2013, 06:32:10 PM »
Raise Dead says:
Quote
A creature who has been turned into an undead creature or killed by a death effect canít be raised by this spell.

Resurrection says:
Quote
You can resurrect someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. You cannot resurrect someone who has died of old age. Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures canít be resurrected.

True Resurrection says:
Quote
You can revive someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. This spell can also resurrect elementals or outsiders, but it canít resurrect constructs or undead creatures. 

So taking the spell descriptions, and ignoring potential houserules/fiat, it seems pretty clear. Being turned into an undead flat-out makes it impossible to Raise you, even if the monster is destroyed. Resurrection or True Resurrection can restore someone who's been turned into an undead, but only if they've then been destroyed (otherwise that clause wouldn't be necessary). In none of the cases can an undead creature who has been destroyed be Resurrected back into being an undead creature (the last sentence) - there's a spell called Revive Undead for that.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 06:33:24 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #110 on: January 31, 2013, 06:39:56 PM »
Thank you so much Ryuka and Glyphstone! :D That question has been knocking around in my head for a while now, and it's good to finally have an official answer. :-) *Bows deeply* Thank you again! ;D

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #111 on: January 31, 2013, 11:15:51 PM »
So discussion on the D&D Next forums hit on one of the biggest problems I've had with D&D magic, bigger, even than the 100% success rate casters have for casting it (saving throws are on the victims side.)

You can get spells outside of the leveling system that every other non-primary caster class can.  In 3.x, Fighters get feats every 2 levels, everyone else gets them every 3.  In 2e you got Proficiencies based on your level, but in both games, the Wizard analog (which in pre-3e was called a Magic User) can get spells by find a simple book.

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #112 on: January 31, 2013, 11:18:43 PM »
I'm with ya there, Chris.  And let's not forget Clerics and Druids, who can change their allotment of spells on a new day via prayer.

I think a martial equivalent would be cool.  A swordmaster does weapons drills and meditates to get into the groove of a new fighting style (assortment of attacks/maneuvers).

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #113 on: February 01, 2013, 12:12:52 AM »
I'm with ya there, Chris.  And let's not forget Clerics and Druids, who can change their allotment of spells on a new day via prayer.

I think a martial equivalent would be cool.  A swordmaster does weapons drills and meditates to get into the groove of a new fighting style (assortment of attacks/maneuvers).

*coughTomeofBattlecough*

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #114 on: February 01, 2013, 01:01:36 AM »
*coughTomeofBattlecough*
Same limitation.  Only get new toys when you level.  Also I want to point out that my 'can get Magic at any time!' gripe is NOT limited to 3.x or whatever.  It's been like this since the little Brown Books.

And I wish I could find my Book of Iron Might (done by Mike Mearls when he was working for Monte Cook as a freelancer) and I might be able to do Skynet's suggestion.  Because I wish you could do that.  Thieves would get their own special tricks they could get outside of the level structure.

I'll be dead honest here, all I ever wanted was to as badass as Beowulf, who can't stop time, talk to Gods nor teleport himself and his friends with varying degrees of accuracy to this plane or any other.  But in no edition of D&D has ever really done that.

Oh well.

Offline Tsenta

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #115 on: February 01, 2013, 03:21:29 AM »
Gotta love spell backfires when someone forgets arcane spell failure and lays on the armor though. Guy polymorphed himself into a grub before. >.>;

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #116 on: February 01, 2013, 09:32:47 AM »
I've never heard of that, though it would at least be a more interesting house-ruled version of Arcane Spell Failure than just % chance for the spell to fizzle and do nothing.

Offline LilyRoseBlack23

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #117 on: February 01, 2013, 12:06:06 PM »
 :'( I miss playing so much but I have no one to play with

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #118 on: February 01, 2013, 12:31:36 PM »
*coughTomeofBattlecough*

That's what I was thinking of.  I meant in regards to other Editions than 3rd.  4th Edition at least got on the right track with toning down CoDzilla and giving the martial classes more variety.

But then I noticed that the only 4E Martial Classes were in the PHB, so it sounds like even then spellcasters got more love overall.

Offline Seress

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #119 on: February 01, 2013, 12:39:36 PM »
A fear years back I tossed myself over the Midnight books for DnD. Amongst those I tabletop with I am the only one that have them and though I have made an attempt to GM in Shadowrun way back I can honestly say I don't have that calling. O.o (or the nerves ;P) So now they just sit there glaring at me, wondering why they don't come into good playing use.

I think I have more or less gone through all the basic classes, and if I rummage through memory human really is the race I have spent a larger percentage of my time playing as. Can have something to do with the GM I had my first years resented other races with a passion and hated when we as his minion player put our grubby hands on the books to read what else was out there. >.<
One class that really turned into a blast playing was Vermin Lord. Never knew there could be so many uses!

Ravenloft I have tried a wee bit, but just enough to give me a taste for more before moving made the trip to play tabletop too expensive to do on a regular basis with that GM that had the books. But reading up on this thread just gave me a heck of alot of good flashbacks from days and nights playing Dnd. :D Thank you Songbird for starting the thread.


Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #120 on: February 01, 2013, 04:00:47 PM »
Gotta love spell backfires when someone forgets arcane spell failure and lays on the armor though. Guy polymorphed himself into a grub before. >.>;
There's no such rule in 3.x. 

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #121 on: February 01, 2013, 05:10:03 PM »
There's no such rule in 3.x. 

House rule?

« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:15:47 PM by Skynet »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #122 on: February 01, 2013, 05:11:43 PM »
House rule?
Exceedingly likely.  Even with arcane failure checks, the wizard never gets a backlash effect.  Like a lot of stuff in D&D it's a binary result.  On/off, hit/miss.

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #123 on: February 01, 2013, 05:16:30 PM »
I'll be dead honest here, all I ever wanted was to as badass as Beowulf, who can't stop time, talk to Gods nor teleport himself and his friends with varying degrees of accuracy to this plane or any other.  But in no edition of D&D has ever really done that.

Oh well.

In 3.5, you can try doing E6, where the game stops at Level 6 but characters could continue accumulating feats and skills.  They just can't get the high-magic and high-powered stuff.

The feats and exploits of mythical figures can be replicated at middle levels.  High-level D&D is... on another realm entirely.  The stuff 20th-level Clerics can do in 3rd are things which can exceed the power of many mythic gods.

There's also the option of restricting spellcasters to themes, like the Warmages, Dread Necromancers, and Beguilers of 3rd Edition.  They're good in their chosen fields, but they don't have a utility belt of magic.

Also, I think that 4th Edition handles this very well, in that Fighters and the like remain relevant for longer than they do in 3rd Edition.  And anyone can take the Ritualist feat, so maybe you can replicate some of the stuff (like holding his breath underwater for hours) with rituals.  I realize that this is just another flavor of "magic," but in D&D magic permeates the realms.  It's plausible that a wily thief, or mighty swordsman, might draw his power from supernatural sources.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:20:18 PM by Skynet »

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #124 on: February 01, 2013, 05:28:01 PM »
A fear years back I tossed myself over the Midnight books for DnD. Amongst those I tabletop with I am the only one that have them and though I have made an attempt to GM in Shadowrun way back I can honestly say I don't have that calling. O.o (or the nerves ;P) So now they just sit there glaring at me, wondering why they don't come into good playing use.

I think I have more or less gone through all the basic classes, and if I rummage through memory human really is the race I have spent a larger percentage of my time playing as. Can have something to do with the GM I had my first years resented other races with a passion and hated when we as his minion player put our grubby hands on the books to read what else was out there. >.<
One class that really turned into a blast playing was Vermin Lord. Never knew there could be so many uses!

Ravenloft I have tried a wee bit, but just enough to give me a taste for more before moving made the trip to play tabletop too expensive to do on a regular basis with that GM that had the books. But reading up on this thread just gave me a heck of alot of good flashbacks from days and nights playing Dnd. :D Thank you Songbird for starting the thread.

Aww, you're welcome! :D I'm glad you're enjoying it! ;D

I love Ravenloft! :D It's one of the first D&D settings I ever experienced, and I still have all of my supplements for it. I love the gothic horror aspect of it, as well as the parallels between the world of Ravenloft and the classic books I love (Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, etc.). The heavily evil atmosphere can be a little heavy for long-term games, but a good DM can counteract it by including some lighter moments as well. :-)

I've heard of the Midnight setting before, but I've never experienced it myself. I'd love to know more! :-)